Government Senator Jepter Ince today denied that 27.1 acres of land, which Government is compulsorily acquiring at Vaucluse, St Thomas, would be used to accommodate the controversial Cahill waste-to-energy project.
Speaking during the Senate debate on a Resolution authorizing the land purchase to facilitate the implementation and execution of the Sanitation Service Authority’s Green Energy Programme, Ince said: “The purpose of this compulsory acquisition is not to speak about Cahill.”
Ince, the parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, said the acquisition was to support Government’s programme of diversifying the energy sector and restructuring the local economy.
“When we look at the cost of energy from 1995, the energy sector has to be diversified,” he said.
He added: “In 2012, our import bill was over $800 million. In 2011, it was over $700 million, an increase of $19.7 million. If you are managing a country, things like that impact on every sector. If you are managing a country and you see this trend, are you going to sit idly by? If we say we want to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel, we must look at alternative sources of energy.”
“It is clear that anyone who can say to me that Barbados does not need a green energy programme or there is no need to diversify the energy sector, [is] not looking at the future welfare of the country,” he went on.
“Ask the question, who identified Vaucluse as the site for a landfill and the building out of SBRC [Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre]? Who identified Vaucluse as the location for waste management?”
Ince noted that as a result of the increasing use of renewable energy, some former customers of the Barbados Light & Power Company were no longer paying bills to that company.
“The BLP [Barbados Labour Party] initiated the diversification of the energy sector and the current administration is continuing the drive with its Green Energy programme. It will move the country forward. It is in the national interest,” he said.