Above: Bridgetown (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Barbados will soon receive a $17 million loan for the country’s Public Sector Smart Energy programme, following the loan’s approval by the Inter-American Development Bank.
The programme will also be receiving a $7.6 million grant from the European Union, the first such grant provided by the EU under a framework agreement with the IDB.
Barabado’s plan will implement green energy solutions and energy efficiency and conservation measures by government agencies. The country has been pushing to cut energy costs and reduce its dependence on foreign fuel.
Under the initiative, Barbados will replace almost all of its public street lights with energy-efficient lamps, add solar power systems to 12 government buildings and deploy new conservation technologies across the country’s public sector.
“Barbados’ Public Sector Smart Energy programme is an excellent example of the cooperation between the EC and the IDB for promoting sustainable energy in the Caribbean,” said Hubert Perr, Charge d’Affaires of the EU delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.
The initiative will also create a government fleet of electric vehicles featuring charging dock stations and its own solar power system.
“This is a pioneering project that could eventually be replicated in other Latin American and Caribbean countries,” said Christiaan Gischler, IDB team leader of the programme. “Both the private and public sectors of the country will be actively contributing to the achievement of the overall objective of reducing the country’s fossil fuel dependency.”