Gov’t meets with stakeholders to discuss state of the renewable sector
The Barbados government says it is still committed to developing the renewable energy sector, even as the decline in global oil prices may have diminished its growth. Commerce Minister Donville Inniss, who along with Energy Minister, Darcy Boyce met with key stakeholders to discuss the state of the renewable sector, said that the meeting had agreed on some of the current challenges being faced.
“The falling oil prices led to a lessening in demand for renewable energy systems here in Barbados,” says Inniss. “Also, of course related to that is how bankable are the projects to access the financing necessary for individuals and commercial enterprises here.
“So, the meeting was successful in the sense that we were able to put all the issues on the table, look at the enabling environment and what was needed, including amendments to existing legislation. We also examined some of the procedures to be used in administering the industry from government’s perspective and the Ministry of Energy is dealing with those issues,” he added.
Explaining that the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) was key to regulation, Inniss said that the meeting’s major outcome was the commitment to arriving at a floored price for fuel generated by renewable energy, so as to give greater support to industry partner, Barbados Light & Power (BL&P). He said this should also serve as an added impetus for individuals who wanted to invest in the systems.
“That is a matter that is already engaging the attention of Light & Power and the FTC, and we expect over the next couple of weeks that we would be very close to arriving at a final figure, a minimal figure that we can have for energy generated by renewable energy systems,” Inniss said.
Inniss said that the Ministry of Commerce would look at policy and also a feed-in tariff which would inform the longer arrangement between utility and the independent power producers in Barbados, adding that matters regarding hedging for fuel prices, fossil fuel prices, was an issue that the BL&P would work to address with stakeholders in the Ministry of Energy and other stakeholders.