The renewable energy sector here is expected to begin operating under new standards and policy guidelines by the end of this year.
The Caribbean Community Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) is currently developing a set of efficiency and labelling standards for the sector across the region.
The new guidelines form part of a wider renewable energy and energy efficiency project, designed to, among other things, help customers make good choices when obtaining a product or service in the sector.
The minimum performance standards being developed will also apply to importers and retailers.
President of the Barbados Association of Energy Professionals Dr Irwin Edwards said the new standards would apply to Barbados and the rest of the region, and would take into account a number of issues such as the various stages of development in each territory.
Edwards was speaking on the sidelines of a major energy standards and policy analysis workshop at the Divi Southwinds Resort.
He did not say if the revised policy would include penalties for those who did not adhere to the standards, but it would then be up to the each country in the region to implement and enforce the standards.
The new guidelines will also make provisions for the testing of appliances, including air-conditioners, refrigerators, and freezers.
Edwards said while standards were nothing new in the region, the renewable energy sector was quickly expanding without set national and regional sidelines.
“When customers are looking to make a major investment they need some kind of assurance, they need some kind of comfort in knowing that what they purchase will do the job and it will do it properly, and the fact that the industry has developed without standards, to my mind, has done it a little bit of injustice,” he said.
“We did well, I am not taking it away from the industry, but if we can now put standards in place so that when a client has the decision to make if to invest $1 million, they have standards that can guarantee them the level of workmanship going into the equipment, the level of performance we can expect coming out of it. It gives them more comfort when they go to invest that $1 million. So standards is very, very import,” Edwards added.