Green Energy programme to bring B’dos significant benefits

 Written by by Julia Rawlins-Bentham -BGIS 
denis lowe
Environment Minister, Dr. Denis Lowe. (FP)

Government’s green energy programme is expected to generate jobs, reduce the importation of oil to Barbados, carbon dioxide emissions and reduce the country’s electric bill.

And, members of the public should expect to be engaged in the coming months as the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage gears up to roll out a major awareness campaign to encourage buy-in for its green energy programme.

These were among the issues highlighted by Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, during a presentation on the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation’s People’s Business last night.

The Minister stressed out that the Mangrove Pond Green Energy Complex was expected to create 884 jobs during the life of the project, of which 76 would be permanent.

In giving a breakdown as to how these would be generated, he explained that the waste-to-energy facility at the Vaucluse, St. Thomas complex would employ 720 people during the construction phase of the project, and 48 when it concludes.

Meanwhile, the landfill gas-to-energy facility will employ 28 people during the construction phase; 12 of them on a permanent basis; the wind farm facility, 16 people during construction and eight permanent; and the solar farm, 120 people during construction and eight permanent.

Dr. Lowe further noted out that Barbados could save as much as 85,400 barrels of oil a year as a result of the project, while the atmosphere could see reduced levels of carbon dioxide from 19,500 vehicles.

“I want to say to Barbadians that in spite of the challenges we are facing, we are still committed to advancing our development. We intend to continue pushing our [green energy] programme. The pathway that we set now, can save generations to come,” he said.

The Minister warned the country that the cost of oil was expected to get higher, and stressed that coming out of the crisis there was a need to find ways to remain sustainable.

He noted that Government’s programme was cast in sustainable development, and added that restructuring an economy was not just about the dollars, but also about the systems which were in place.

Dr. Lowe further explained that the green energy programme, valued at over $1 billion, was designed to generate revenue, and bore no up-front costs to Government. He said that the only areas that were not expected to generate revenue were the administration building of the Sanitation Service Authority and the leachate treatment plant.