Barbados Port Inc. is playing its part in the Government’s overall drive to be fully dependent on renewable energy resources by 2030.
Speaking during debate in the Senate on the Barbados Light and Power Act 2019, Chairman of the Barbados Port Inc., Senator Lisa Cummins, outlined the measures the island’s seaport was taking as she alluded to the economics concept of “opportunity costs.”
In explaining the concept, she stated, “If we can reduce our spend on energy while building up our economy in other areas, we will have more money available to meet some of the island’s more pressing needs.” She noted that the port’s energy bill was $3 million a year, but they were on the way towards significantly reducing this figure.
“We benefited through the (previous administration’s) Smart Energy programme when we installed solar panels on the cruise terminal, which has reduced our electricity bill by 20 per cent. We are putting solar panels on our mechanics’ workshops and as we purchase new equipment such as straddle carriers and forklifts, we are looking at plug-in electric vehicles rather than diesel-powered ones, and we are moving towards electric cars in the port’s fleet as well. Phase two of our new administration building presently under construction will also feature a solar energy car port.”
Senator Cummins said earlier this year, the port’s senior management held a retreat, during which certain goals were established.
“We set ourselves a vison of becoming the most innovative green maritime hub in the world by 2030, and we have started taking concrete steps towards this. Part of that includes breakwater reclamation and expanding for green energy, and more efficient means of waste management, especially since starting next year, cruise ships will not be incinerating on board, so we will have to install a waste to energy plant at our facility.”
She added that with the money the Port has saved with the new energy conservation measures, it can now work towards improving its infrastructure and providing better facilities for its staff.