The Government is expected to launch an updated National Energy Plan and a Barbados National Energy Investment Plan by November.
Addressing the launch of the Caribbean Climate Investment Programme – Energy and Climate Financing for the Eastern Caribbean at Hilton Barbados on Wednesday, Minister of Energy and Business Senator Lisa Cummins also disclosed that the investment plan would allow the private sector and other stakeholders to be able to identify “greenfield” and “brownfield” opportunities for investment in the energy space.
She suggested to her audience that consideration should be given to the level of investment needed for Barbados to reach its 2030 target of 100 per cent renewable energy as well as the new opportunities in the transition process.
“Equally, we are going to be preparing by November/December at the latest, the launch of the updated Integrated Resource and Resiliency Pan (IRRP). That was done in 2021 but the world has changed so rapidly, technology has evolved so quickly, the space has been crowded in amazingly and incredibly, that we now are in a space in 2023 [where] we made a decision earlier this year that we needed to update the IRRP, which also gave us our energy mix,” the minister said.
“We expect also to be working with one of our international multilateral partners to have a storage strategy as well. So we would have a new energy mix, a new storage strategy…in both instances, which would require investment from the private sector.”
Cummins said her ministry expects to work with stakeholders to be able to capitalise on the energy transition and collaborate with colleagues across the region.
She told the audience which included the president of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) James Clarke, Grenada’s Minister of Climate Resilience, the Environment and Renewable Energy Kerryne James, and Deputy Chief of Party for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Energy Sector Reform Programme Gerald Lindo, that while seeking to achieve the transition goals was important, it should be done in such a way that it would benefit the pockets of electricity consumers.
Cummins made reference to the idea of a common Caribbean energy strategy and asked participants to think about the areas of commonality that can bridge and anchor the investment approach to capitalising on the renewable energy transition.
“We have been working with the UN Special Envoy for Energy, and in 2024 June, Barbados will be host to the Global Forum on Energy. We will be inviting the entire private sector because there will be an opportunity to look at our energy transition plan and our energy investment opportunities for the energy sector,” she said.
Speaking on the topic Transition to Resilience by the Private Sector, BCCI president Clarke called on businesses to do an impact assessment of climate change, severe weather events and other national occurrences.
He said such assessments should be done not only in their own location but also in their suppliers’ markets and where their customers are so that they can prepare as well as they can to increase the likelihood of their survival and continuation of their operations.
“So the importance of the business community surviving these types of events is critical. All of these things carry very high risks,” Clarke said.
“We must have resilient buildings designed to withstand such weather events. They must be energy efficient, comfortable to work in; they must have your backup power. Also remember that in a disaster situation, the recovery is likely going to be triage. So you are going to have certain aspects that are going to take precedence,” the Chamber president said.