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Time for a solar revolution
By Amanda Nieves
It is time for Barbados to undergo a second solar revolution – this time for the production of power.
It was as far back as the 1970s that Barbadian James Husbands propelled this country into its first solar revolution with the introduction of solar as a way of heating water. A call is now going out for a second wave of that revolution by transforming roofs into micro-power plants for the generation of electricity.
The call is coming from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who conveyed his Government’s target of having 29 per cent of all electricity being generated by renewable energy sources by 2029.
“Since it is recognised that fossil fuels will be with us for some time, the policy of the Government is to aim for a target of 29 per cent of all electricity in this country being generated from renewable energy sources by 2029; and the reduction of electricity consumption by 22 per cent by the same year. I am advised that based on the declining cost of renewable technologies, the projection of 29 per cent may well be too conservative, and I am indeed heartened by this possibility,” the Prime Minister said.
He said that this can be achieved by the use of solar, wind, biomass, waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy sources which are all viable alternatives that are in various stages of planning an execution.
“The vision of the Government is to see a Barbados within the next five years where about 15 megawatts of energy is being generated from renewable energy sources, particularly from the roofs of businesses, Government-owned buildings and houses. I look forward to a Barbados within the next five years where at least 3 000 homes are outfitted with solar electricity systems,” Stuart stated.
He further congratulated the business community for moving quickly in the installation of solar electricity systems, and encouraged the members of the business community to make use of the generous concessions presented in the last Budget.