Several benefits from renewable energy use

Photovoltaic systems installed at four Government primary schools are expected to realise combined savings of as much as $30 000 annually.

Word of this has come from Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Senator Harcourt Husbands.

The provision of the systems, which fall under the Net Zero Energy Project of the Ministry of Energy and Telecommunications, is aimed at reducing the energy consumption of selected schools, and Senator Husbands revealed between $165 000 and $175 000 have been spent on outfitting the four schools. The disclosure came as he delivered the final Astor B. Watts Lunchtime Lecture for the year at the Democratic Labour Party’s headquarters yesterday afternoon.

He indicated that the schools that most recently started benefiting from the initiative are Bayley’s Primary, St. Catherine’s Primary, Selah Primary and Half Moon Fort Primary.
“These four schools, as a result of policies of this Government, are now generating 100 per cent of their electricity supply. You would’ve seen week before the Honourable Minister Darcy Boyce in the media talking about the Government’s Renewable Energy Strategy 2017-2037, so this programme that we embarked upon last week, it didn’t drop out of thin air; it wasn’t something somebody thought up on the spur.

It is part of Government’s policy to promote renewable energy, to reduce the cost to Government and ordinary citizens of energy, and to move away from fossil fuels as is going on worldwide,” he said.

Husbands also told those gathered that some 12 other schools are already generating, in part or 100 percent of their energy needs from similar PV systems. His comments came as he suggested that Barbados is leading the region in its renewable energy drive, adding that this thrust has seen new job opportunities being created for Barbadians.

“It is a local company that installed the systems. Do you know that 10 years ago, five years ago those installers, those young men who were on the roofs of the schools installing this equipment, five years ago that was not an occupation in Barbados. When we talk about developing the green economy, that is an aspect of the green economy we are talking about – creating jobs, new types of jobs,” he said.

The Parliamentary Secretary explained that the training for those jobs has also been done here in Barbados, at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology. With that in mind, he said that as efforts to expand renewable energy in this country continue, more young people will be able to secure jobs in the sector, installing and providing maintenance for the systems. Another benefit derived from the switch to renewable energy, he said, is the saving of much needed foreign exchange. He explained that the country is able to substitute renewable sources for the fossil fuels which are imported at exorbitant costs. (JRT)ᆭ

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