Minister of Energy and Water Resources Wilfred Abrahams as he unveiled the plaque commemorating the moment.

Minister issues challenge to SJPI students

Students of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology (SJPI) have been issued a challenge to convert diesel vehicles to electric ones.

In an address yesterday, Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Wilfred Abrahams, told the technical and vocational students that with the Transport Board possessing around 140 non-operational buses, there is no reason why they could not work on a few of these “shells” to be able to achieve the redesign.

“There is no good reason that SJPI should not work with the ministry to provide the resources for you students to try your hand at it. You have nothing to lose. All of the great success stories did not come overnight…I will work with you to make sure that it is done.

“I want the challenge for the SJPI to be able to convert those buses in an efficient way that we do not have to bring in
hundreds of buses, because we can retrofit what we already have as this saves money, develops students and enhances the capacity of Barbados…If we get that done in Barbados, there is no reason we could not export that to the rest of the Caribbean and become the hub for changing them out,” he added.

Abrahams made the comment as he delivered feature remarks at the commissioning ceremony for the 109 Kilowatt solar voltaic system at the Institute, and outlined that the movement towards the 2030 vision of making this island 100 per cent carbon neutral would create a multitude of opportunities that students and youth as a whole could use to create their own businesses within the renewable energy sector.

“This is where you come in. Ten years ago the energy sector was not seen as something to aspire to…but it is becoming commonplace now. So for you students that are wondering what to do, this revolution is real. Our government is hell bent on achieving 100 per cent renewable electricity generation in Barbados by 2030. That means that opportunities arise for you students in the technical and vocational sector to become designers, installers, maintainers, manufacturers, the possibilities are open to you all,” he stressed. (JMB)

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