Support for renewables and energy efficiency in Barbados


Christiaan Gischler,
Barbados Project
Team Leader, IDB
Christ Church, Barbados — (METERING.COM) — September 17, 2010 – Barbados has been awarded a US$45 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to boost the use of renewable energies and improve its energy efficiency.

Additionally, the loan will support institutional strengthening as well as public education and awareness building campaigns to promote sustainable energy and energy conservation initiatives among the population.

The program, part of a series of sustainable energy initiatives that the Bank is financing, will help Barbados to reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuels and to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

“The energy sector is one of the priorities of the IDB strategy with Barbados,” commented project team leader Christiaan Gischler. He added that the IDB has provided over US$3.5 million in grant financing for energy projects in the nation over the last two years.

Specifically the objectives of the program are to support the formulation of policy and legislation that will contribute to the promotion of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and the rational and efficient use of energy; to encourage measures to promote mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as well as initiatives for adaptation to climate change in the energy sector; and to encourage institutional strengthening and capacity building requirements to achieve sustainable energy.

The program is expected to generate a net benefit of US$284 million in fuel and electricity cost savings over the next 20 years and reduce oil imports’ cumulative cost from US$2.65 billion to US$1.98 billion over the same period. It is also anticipated that the program will reduce more than 4.5 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.

Other initiatives under way in Barbados include a sustainable energy pilot in which power monitoring will be installed in 3,000 homes and public buildings and solar photovoltaic and wind systems with net metering in 50 homes, and the Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency Action (CHENACT) program, which is aimed at encouraging the implementation of energy efficiency practices and renewable micro generation in the Caribbean tourism sector.

The loan is for a 20-year term, and is expected to be followed by a second loan of similar characteristics.