Barbadian enterprises will quickly jump on the renewable energy bandwagon if they are smart.
The Enterprise Growth Fund Limited, which is one of the state entities responsible for implementing Government’s several energy programmes, has been receiving applications and making millions of dollars in disbursements for companies focussed on energy efficiency.
It’s CEO Timothy Simmons told the media today that there was a new opportunity for businesses to save and make money in this area.
“We have received so far about $7 million in applications for green technologies, renewable energy and energy efficiency. We have already approved $1 million from the Energy Smart Fund for a large PV system to a retailer. I have about $1.6 million in loans on my desk seeking approval,” he said at an EGFL media briefing.
“The interest in renewable energy and energy efficiency is very high. The Energy Smart Fund is right on queue in terms of its timeliness.
“It will be providing low cost financing at a rate of 3.75 per cent to help finance the capital works associated with renewable energy and energy efficiency… “It represents a timely opportunity for businesses to seek to save electricity, save foreign exchange, enhance our energy security, as well as contribute to the greening of the environment. So I would say that if ever there was a time for considering green initiatives, especially with respect to energy efficiency, the time is now,” he added.
The executive said his organisation and by extension Barbados was “on the right track as far as a renewable strategy is concerned”, noting that the three key prerequisites of any such plan was an abundance of sunshine, a financially viable tariff structure, and a source of low cost funding.
“The missing component that we have lacked over time, however, was a low cost source of funding, as the up front expenditure for such projects is very high,” he explained.
“We now have that source of low cost funding with the launch of the Energy Smart Fund, which will provide long term loans at a … based rate of 3.75 per cent. So this completes the puzzle and we have a basis for implementing a sustainable renewable energy framework.” (SC)