New structure coming
Wed, 03/23/2016 - 12:00am Barbados1
A new pricing structure is to be put in place to revive this country’s Renewable Energy (RE) sector.
So says Donville Inniss, Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development.
Speaking at the 12th Fair Trading Commission (FTC) annual lecture at the Accra Beach Hotel and Spa recently, Inniss said this is one of the key solutions to the apparent slowdown in activity in the sector, which is one of the newest in the local economy.
He said the new structure lies in the FTC determining a rate for RE that is beneficial to all stakeholders.
The Minister recalled convening a meeting with the Barbados Renewable Energy Association, the Ministry of Energy, the Barbados Light and Power Company Limited, and the FTC to discuss a solution.
Stating that this is a work in progress, Inniss highlighted: “I expect that the island will soon be updated on this matter and indeed a new proposed pricing structure that will see the resuscitation of the RE sector.”
The sector emerged after a recognition by Government that Barbados needed to promote renewable energy in an attempt to reduce the island’s dependence on imported crude, which was extracting enormous resources from the country. The passage of the Electric Light and Power Act and the provision of incentives were among the measures introduced to boost the sector in light of the country having to fork out in excess of $800 million until oil prices collapsed, to pay for imported crude.
Oil prices have fallen from close to US$100 a barrel four years ago to under US$30 a barrel.
Inniss said that some have blamed the slowdown of activity in the RE sector on among other things, the falling oil prices, incentives and state policies.
The Minister noted that the Ministry of Energy continues to work on a new energy policy that will inform much of the work of the FTC as a regulator in the energy sector.
The FTC lecture was presented by Dr. William Smith, the President of the Caribbean Development Bank.
In his address, Inniss welcomed the new FTC Chairman, Jefferson Cumberbatch. He also thanked the former Chairman, Sir Neville Nicholls, and the former CEO Ms. Peggy Griffth, both of whom have resigned.