Saturday 28 March, 2020

New national energy policy in the works

Come the end of November, government is expected to announce a new energy policy geared at reducing the reliance on fossil fuels.

News of this came from Jehu Wiltshire, Permanent Secretary in the Division of Energy and Telecommunications yesterday, Friday, November 17, 2017, during a Barbados Water Authority (BWA) press briefing. 

Wiltshire said the national energy policy should be announced in “a week’s time” and embraces the move toward Barbados becoming fully renewable. Wiltshire said the national energy policy has a twenty-year planning horizon, scheduled to be fully implemented by 2037.

“By 2037 we expect to have a reduction in the importation of fossil fuels by 75 percent as well as a concomitant increase in renewable energy by 75 percent as well.”

Additionally, he gave details of the two new solar-powered projects being embarked upon in collaboration with MASDAR of the United Arab Emirates. The two BWA projects include a 500-kilowatt ground-mounted photovoltaic system at the Bowmanston pumping station in St. John and a 500-kilowatt solar carpark at the Bridgetown Sewage Treatment Plant at Lakes Folly, St. Michael.

Wiltshire also said the two solar projects conducted by the BWA fall squarely within the energy policy and will assist in building resilience in Barbados’ energy policy. He said the goal is to build a decentralised model of electricity distribution in the island.

“The energy policy does not forsee many large solar farms throughout Barbados. What our focus is, is on having many decentralised renewable energy generating facilities and that is why these two facilities are going to be so important because of fleshing out that particular policy.”

Wiltshire said Barbados already has 25 megawatts on energy storage on the grid with 1,500 renewable energy generating systems in operation. He added with the national energy policy will see an exponential increase in those systems on the grid. 

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