Barbados could be in for a revolution of sorts.
Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce & Small Business Development Donville Inniss revealed Tuesday that the island was at “a very advanced stage” in terms of its development of practical renewable energy proposals, while stating that Government’s intention was to fully transform the industrial sector.
He was at the time updating reporters on the status of an agreement signed in September 2014 between Barbados and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
As part of this agreement, US$10 million will go towards increasing the number of entrepreneurs in the renewable energy sector, and also towards the creation of a better framework for driving the industry.
Inniss said Government agencies such as the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) would also receive financial support to allow them to generate their own renewable energy.
“We are at a very advanced stage where proposals are being submitted to the Global Environmental Fund, as recent as a few days ago, to make this round of financing become available for us to embark on the projects,” Inniss said.
He also pointed out that other donor agencies, including private sector and international investment entities, had come on board.
“We intend to really revolutionize the industrial sector in Barbados. We believe that we have it within our grasp to ensure that our manufacturing sector and industrial sector operate in a far more energy efficient manner.
“It means that we are going to work closer with the companies to look at retooling . . . towards getting more energy efficient equipment. We are going to generate more of the power we use within our industrial parks from our physical roof space and other facilities we have,” the Government spokesman said, while pointing out that the BIDC was already in conversation with relevant suppliers.
Inniss’ comments coincided with this island’s hosting of the two-day EU-Caribbean sustainable energy conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Monday and Tuesday.
He said the project should also provide training and other opportunities for Barbadians to get more involved in the sector.
UNIDO’s Director General Li Yong said the Barbados project was an important one for UNIDO in the areas of climate change and energy efficiency. He also singled out the Barbados Light & Power Company and Caribbean LED Lighting for their energy-saving efforts, while stating that he was pleased with the direction the island was taking with respect to renewable energy and energy efficiency.