Government is projecting savings of over $3 billion over the next two decades under the new Barbados National Energy Policy 2017–2037.
The use of consumption fuel by vehicles is also to be slashed by about half from 11,000 barrels per day to 5,400 barrels per day, with the country scheduled to realize a 75 per cent reduction in the use of fossil fuel-based energy over the next 20 years, and an equal percentage increase in renewable energy usage.
Earlier this week, energy officials outlined the key objectives of the new policy, which is scheduled to go before Parliament soon for approval.
Last year Government spent just over US$300 million or about seven per cent of the country’s gross domestic product on the importation of fuel, down from the US$450 million in 2015.
Acting Chief Project Analyst in the Division of Energy Bryan Haynes said the policy should result in stability of local energy prices, stronger regulation and greater reliability, and energy security and affordability.
Based on the policy, by 2037 Barbados should be generating 20 per cent of its energy from natural gas; 30 per cent from biomass; 20 per cent from wind; 15 per cent from solar and 15 per cent from bio-fuels.
Haynes said the new framework should result in at least a 22 per cent saving in terms of electricity consumption.
“In order to achieve those targets and mix we would have to reduce our heavy fuel consumption significantly and relatively quickly. In order for this to happen as mentioned earlier, transportation would have to be a significant component. That relates to making sure that at the end of the day our daily fuel consumption would be reduced from 11,000 barrels to just around 5,400 barrels per day, that is fuel not energy,” explained Haynes.
Minister responsible for Energy Senator Darcy Boyce said once the implementation gets underway it should also result in the creation of new job opportunities.
“This vision is guided by a multi-criteria approach to development which requires the viable application of resources within the context of financial, economic, environmental, social and technological parameters. In other words, we got to be environmentally friendly. They have got to be able to pay their way and it has to have a proper system of governance and regulation. We have got to also ensure that it reaches throughout the whole country,” he said.
Acknowledging that the implementation of the measures outlined in the policy would take some time, Boyce said residents should also give it time to show measureable results.
The new policy is expected to be accessible online within a matter of weeks.
Data, which was available for up to 2010, showed that Barbados’ energy distribution consisted of 41 per cent, power generation; ten per cent, commercial/public; eight per cent, residential; nine per cent, industrial; 27 per cent, transportation and five per cent, other.