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Barbados

Official Name:
Barbados
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Energy profile

Barbados (2014)

Type: 
Energy profile
Energy profile
Extent of network

The country’s electrification rate is 100% and BL&P supplies electricity to 119,000 customers.

Renewable energy potential

The Government of Barbados has long been an advocate of developing renewable sources of energy. During the 1980’s and early 1990’s, BL&P purchased electricity produced from bagasse during the sugar crop season by a number of local factories. Since then the government has also experimented with wind turbines and photovoltaics.WindBarbados has an involvement in wind energy going back to 1980s. Recently, as wind energy has become a more reliable and cost effective technology, BL&P have sought to develop a wind farm in the Lamberts area. There however continue to be impediments to the project due to issues related to the leasing of the land.. BL&P have now been given the go ahead to develop the land in Lamberts for wind but there are still negotiations to be undertaken. Barbados has not chosen to go for compulsory acquisition of the land as was done in St. Lucia. BL&P and Sagicor will be required to agree on a price for BL&P to lease the land.. (Morgan Ince, 2013)SolarCommercial solar water heating finds its origins in the 1970s as a simple local church initiative to provide vocational training for young men. A demonstration at the official residence of the then Prime Minister led to government implementation of initial fiscal incentives to promote the use of solar water heater (SWH) technology. Through the Fiscal Incentives Act of 1974, import tariffs for SWH raw materials had been waived and a 30% consumption tax was placed on electric water heaters (BIDC, 2010). Further, under a 1980 Income Tax Amendment, the full cost of SWH purchase and installation up to $BD 3500 was allowed as a home-owner tax deduction. This tax deduction was reinstated in 1996 following its suspension during a period of economic recession that extended from the 1980s. The government also actively engaged in purchasing over 1200 units for five different housing development projects since the mid 1970’s further stimulating the industry.As interest in the new technology grew, other competitors quickly joined the market and by the beginning of the 1980’s SunPower Corporation and AquaSol Components Limited, had established themselves as industry players. By 2003 there were over 35,000 solar water heaters installed in Barbados. Of this consumer base, 70% of the systems are in residential homes and 30% in commercial properties, predominantly hotels. This represents 30% penetration across building properties in Barbados. More recent quotes put the total at 45,000 installations island-wide. Since the late 1990s Solar Dynamics has expanded to own manufacturing operations in Saint Lucia, a distribution centre in Jamaica and agents in the Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Maarteen, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St. Kitts & Nevis and the British Virgin Islands.Geothermal/HydropowerUnlike its geographic neighbours, Barbados has limited potential for utilisation of these energy sources. Popular movement suggests support for investment in geothermal power in neighbouring countries, but no official investment has been forthcoming from BL&P.BiomassBiomass Cogeneration has been used by the sugar cane industry in Barbados for years. Currently the sugar cane industry burns bagasse in their boilers to generate steam for their processes. The steam is also used to generate electricity for the plant. No excess electricity is generated. The BCIC has plans to consolidate the current Andrews and Portvale sugar mills into a single rehabilitated and refurbished factory at Andrew’s factory site. As part of these upgrades BCIC intends to optimize the co-generation of electricity for sale to BL&P, utilizing both bagasse from the cane and other biomass waste available from the Islands’ waste management facility.

Energy framework

National Strategic Plan of Barbados for 2006–25The National Strategic Plan of Barbados for 2006–25 was designed to help eliminate the reliance on fossil fuel, with a specific focus on increasing the number of household solar water heaters by 50% by the end of 2025. To date, solar water heaters are used extensively in Barbados, with installations in nearly half of the island’s dwelling units (Barbados Light and Power Company Limited Annual Report 2012). More recently, the Barbados Light and Power Company Limited, with the approval of the Fair Trading Commission and technical support from the IDB, introduced the Renewable Energy Rider initiative in mid–2010. This initiative allows customers to connect to the grid and sell any excess electricity generated from renewable sources to Barbados Light and Power Company Limited. Thus far, more than 200 customers have benefited from the initiative.The renewable energy industry is also supported through a series of tax incentives introduced by the GoBA. Some of these incentives are a zero value-added tax rate on all renewable energy and energy-efficient systems and products produced in Barbados; an income tax holiday of 10 years for developers, manufacturers, and installers of renewable energy products; and a 150% deductible on expenditures for staff training, marketing of products for the sale of electricity, and product development or research that is related directly to the generation and sale of electricity. To facilitate renewable energy generation on the island, the GoBA is also expected to pass renewable energy legislation in Parliament in October of this year. This new legislation will help reposition Barbados’ economy and establish a complete renewable energy sector in the country. The National Energy Policy was published by the Government in 2007 and in 2010 the Fair Trading Commission approved a Renewable Energy Rider pilot project which allows eligible customers with renewable power sources to sell excess power to the grid. The program currently limits size to 5kW for domestic and 50kW for other tariff brackets. All kWh supplied to the grid are credited for 1.8 times the Fuel Clause Adjustment or 31.5 cents/kWh, whichever is greater.The country is committed to reducing its oil dependency and in May 2012 hosted the Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in Small Island Developing States conference where it announced an ambitious renewable energy target of 29% by 2029. It is now one of the few countries in the Caribbean to have such a mandate.The Implementing Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects under the Sustainable Energy Framework for Barbados is an example of a climate change mitigation project which is currently under implementation in Barbados. The general objective of the project is to promote renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) in Barbados, thus reducing the country’s dependency from imported fossil fuels enhancing security and stability in energy supply, and improving overall environmental sustainability in the country.Specifically the project will help the Government of Barbados to develop a Sustainable Energy Framework (SEF) and achieve institutional strengthening in the areas of RE and EE, achieve EE in the country’s key sectors, implement energy efficiency pilot projects, identify, and promote the most effective alternatives for RE generation, and implement renewable energy pilot projects.  The expected outputs of project include the distribution and installation of 15,000 compact fluorescent lights in 3,000 households along with the installation of 28 solar photovoltaic systems and one micro wind turbine. The project will also carry out energy efficiency audits in seven public sector buildings, 25 residential buildings, and eight audits in commercial (non-tourism) buildings.In 2010, Barbados’s power utility established a net metering program, which included 25 consumer generators as participants until the end of 2012. Last year, a private company financed the purchase of 1.4MW of solar photovoltaic panels to help reduce its electricity bill and carbon footprint.

Source
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