SOLAR HEATING PUSH
Fri, 11/11/2016 - 12:00am
The success of the Solar Water Heating Sector has shown what local entrepreneurial spirit, generous fiscal concessions and the support of the community can achieve to make the island a model in the world.
This is according to Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Freundel Stuart, who believes there is need to increase the penetration rate of these systems in the island, especially in the lower income sector.
In light of this, he disclosed that a study will be shortly commissioned to analyse the state of the sector and to determine what further assistance the Government can provide to increase the penetration rate.
“In view of the significant capital investment needed to build out the renewable energy sector, strategic partnerships with our international partners need to be vigorously pursued,” Stuart indicated.
“I have repeatedly urged the international community to assist in this process by the provision of funding that ideally should be predictable and easily accessible.”
The Prime Minister was at the time addressing the opening ceremony of the two-day Barbados Renewable Energy Association (BREA) Conference “Sustainable Energy Independence in the Caribbean: Making It Happen”, held in association with the Central Bank of Barbados at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC), yesterday.
Recalling that Barbados has had over 40 years of providing fiscal incentives for solar water heating, Stuart also noted that since 2010 the Government has continued this process of providing generous concessions for this sector, by the inclusion of the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources as well as energy efficiency.
He also said that Government intends to provide further concessions to the sector by significantly lowering the annual licence fees for those entities which wish to sell electricity to the grid.
“The Cabinet has already agreed to this proposal and the requisite Regulations will shortly come into effect,” he revealed.
“I should like to caution, however, that while we aspire to be a 100 per cent renewable energy island, the Government will not be doing so with the use of technologies that require more subsidies than currently exist through the existing fiscal concessions. The technologies must be economically viable and not a burden to the state – especially at this time of fiscal restraint.
“We will pursue measures that require additional subsidy only when it has been proven that the energy security or environmental sustainability of the country justifies that pursuit,” he added. (TL)