A major player in the renewable energy sector in Barbados is expressing concern that the sector could soon collapse if Government does not proclaim outstanding legislation.
However, Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss said it was possible that by next month there should be some good news.
Following weeks of consultation between stakeholders, renewable energy legislation was passed in Parliament last December but was not proclaimed. It was understood that some changes might be required before proclamation.
Director of Williams Industries Inc., David Staples, expressed his dissatisfaction with the delay during the recent end of month Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) luncheon at the Hilton.
The legislation would give independent power producers the green light to produce energy for commercial purposes.
“The intent was to spur the development of renewable energy in particular. It is now five, going on six, months and the renewable energy sector, which now I think is about 16 companies, is grinding to a halt because this legislation has been passed but the promulgation of the rules about how you apply for licence and when you can get it has not come forward,” lamented Staples.
“So the only thing that is really happening here is residential installations, which are important, but to get to the point where you are able to save on oil and be able to start to shut down fossil fuel generators we have to get [independent power producers] out there; and right now it is impossible. We have the money, we have the technology and the staff and many other companies do as well, but we don’t have a clear path as to how to move forward.”
In his response, Inniss said: “I am advised that that legislation should be proclaimed by June, which should then make it easier. One can appreciate that there are a few regulatory issues that we had to get right.”
Inniss promised to “follow up” with his colleague Minister of Energy Senator Darcy Boyce before a definite date is announced.