Jerry Franklin (right) in conversation with Professor Olav Hohmeyer (centre) who gave the feature address at the meeting, and another delegate.
Business Monday: Bring all on board
THERE needs to be the creation of a National Sustainable Energy Fund to assist the transition of low income earners on board the renewable energy thrust. This has been suggested by Jerry Franklin, President of the Barbados Renewable Energy Association (BREA) at its recent seventh annual general meeting at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill.
At the moment, Barbados has set the year 2030 to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy transformation, which was the main point Franklin highlighted in his 2018 Report presented at the BREA meeting.
He also told those in attendance that as the Association contemplates the transition, there is the distinct possibility that some segments of the Barbadian society will be left behind.
While we recognise that this transition does not mean a solar panel on every roof, we see a need to have a programme that ensures all Barbadians are on board with the 100 per cent renewable energy transformation by 2030, while supporting advocacy issues that affect the masses.
“This fund would be governed under a coherent and co-ordinated framework created and managed by the private sector and could also get support from the many donor agencies,” Mr. Franklin reasoned.
“Similarly, a significant level of investment will also be required by the utility and the private sector, as they both have taken the challenge of making this transition economically viable, as it would be unrealistic to expect the government to fund this transition towards 100 per cent renewable energy,” the BREA official stated.
He has pointed out that if the 2030 target is to be met, Barbados must come to grips with the fact that it will require both public and private sector collaborating to identify, prioritise and develop an action plan for all critical action items to be finalise within the time frame.
He said that moving towards 100 per cent renewable energy for Barbados is not just simply changing the oil-based generation assets to renewable generating assets. Rather, “it would mean a fundamental change in infrastructure, change in regulatory frame works and transition to many institutions, all of which require significant levels of funding and resource mobilisation,” Franklin maintained.
The funding will be required to undertake institutional strengthening and capacity building across a number of key agencies, he added.