Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Worme, Barbadians Want To Examine The Analysis On Solar Energy

Stephen Worme, Chief Marketing Officer, BL&P

As part of a pilot programme, BL&P has introduced a Renewable Energy Rider “to permit small customer-owned wind and solar photovoltaic systems to connect to the grid” to generate electricity for their own use and sell surplus back to BL&P. Provision was made for up to 200 connections but the last public report I saw suggested that less than 10 consumers had signed up.
Andrew Brathwaite

Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Worme of the Barbados Light and Power Ltd (BL&P) is quoted in the press suggesting that “international oil prices are predicted to rise and it would be unrealistic to expect the Barbados Light & Power Company not to pass on the increase to electricity users or to expect Government to subsidize it for “any extended period of time”  BU’s best research contradicts Worme’s forecast however we  concede that there is a known volatility associated with oil prices.

A couple years ago when the price of oil skyrocketed to USD140.00 plus per barrel it sparked a robust national conversation about the mitigating steps which should be taken.Two years later we are still talking with no semblance of a Renewable Energy Program to be mobilized any time soon.

Whenever Chief Marketing Officer Worme as been asked the question about using solar energy to complement fossil power generation at BL&P, he has resorted to the excuse of non-viability. By BL&P’s logic the price of oil has to reach a higher price point to ensure an acceptable rate of return on the  investment. At no time has BL&P proffered any analysis to the public to support its argument. Why should they anyway if the media and stakeholders, who should be curious, have not made the request.

Mr. Worme can you share BL&P’s analysis with the public so that it can inform the national conversation on how we should effectively and efficiently design a Renewable Energy Program?

Have you approached government about making concessions which would reduce the cost of a solar project?

Given the national benefits to be had of implementing such a project  wouldn’t government be a willing partner?

Frankly we are too intelligent a people to be accepting Chief Marketing Officer’s ‘opinion’ that the cost to develop solar energy is prohibitive when compared to fossil fuel as the raw material. What is stopping BL&P and government approaching a reputable solar vendor and negotiating a position which would positively affect cost to the end consumer?

The has come for the bullshit to stop!

110 thoughts on “Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Worme, Barbadians Want To Examine The Analysis On Solar Energy


  1. Who writes this crap? If you are so interested then do your own homework and post it on this site for all of us. Can you really expect to ask a company to do the homework for you when its their product that will be affected. If you think there is really a cost savings why not investigate it and install and let us know how it goes. And just to add, when I have looked at it in very general terms there is no money to really be saved unless the price of gas sky rockets again – then sun powered become more viable. Why do you think half of the world is not rushing to install sun power cells on their homes.


    • @Quest

      Do you appreciate that the BL&P is not any old company selling rock cakes and biscuits?


  2. The comment made by Mr. Worme is no surprise to most Barbadians.He is a paid magician; to perform for the company which hires him.
    Our problem: (1)Only one company which has been allowed the privillegde of being the only provider of manufacturing of electricity for over a hundred years with no politician with ‘galls’ to change the state of affairs.It makes no difference how loud we shout. BL&P and government are cognizant to the fact that we will just complain on the blogs. Mr. Worme should come out and state clearly what we believe. ‘You are crying out for renewable energy’, so you must pay a high price for it.The installation of solar would make it too difficult for the company giving excuses for an increase the next time.


  3. David:
    That last paragraph should was meant to be deleted; should have finished at the end of ‘next time.’

    There is no need for Mr. Worme to spell it out to us; Bajans are cognisant to the fact that BL&P is in the business of making money and most importantly is that of his shereholders are happy year after year.
    Like it or lump it, Bajans cannot do any better because our politicians have let down the public to allow BL&P to opperate as the only generating facility


  4. Most Bajans are petrified of electricity and rightly so.

    It can kill if you don’t not know what you are doing. Even if you do know it is still dangerous and can be equally deadly.

    You are not going to get your average Joe in Barbados tinkering around looking for a solution to supply his household with electricity on his own.

    I think a change will occur (if it hasn’t already) when the price of electricity reaches a value where the individual householder is motivated to hire the technical resources to provide the means to at least stabilise and possibly reduce the electric bill.

    I think it will be based on the perception that there is a technical resource that is capable of delivering a safe and effective solution and that will not rip off the householder.

    The technical resource should be perceived to be dependable and provide reliable service and be expected to be in business for “ever”.

    Those requirements are hard to meet for an “entrepreneur” starting up and yet there is obviously an opportunity there for those with the sense, technical background and courage to grasp it.

    Companies do exist with the know how.

    I guess a question is would BL&P diversify and provide this additional service. That is really an issue for its directors to determine. Why should it if it doesn’t fit with its core business.

    Likewise any existing company with the technical know how.

    We outside can only pontificate.

    A few brave souls may make the effort to fill the perceived void.

    It is an interesting time we live in for here lies an opportunity for a known or unknown company to grasp. The requirement for technical knowledge will limit the participants but there are other considerations.

    On one hand, a fall in the oil price could wipe out the market demand for those brave enough to enter. On the other hand a well thought out and delivered service could make the provider of that service very prosperous!!

    Do Bajan entrepreneurs have the staying power, technical background and discipline to make it work?

    Maybe I have it totally wrong!!!

    I can still try to stir those with the technical know how to action.


  5. David
    Below is a copy of an article that I wrote for Nation in January this year:

    With the news that the Barbados Light and Power Co. Ltd. has recently received permission to erect a number of wind turbines, an old Barbadian saying has come to mind: “there is more in the mortar than the pestle.”
    Apart from being an ugly blot on the landscape, wind turbines are expensive to build and maintain; the adverse effects on the health of people who live in close proximity is still the subject of research and debate; and they do not produce a consistent supply of electricity. The only significant benefit of erecting those turbines would go to the manufacturers. They would have sold some very expensive equipment, and if the people/guinea pigs of Josey Hill do not get sick, the manufacturers would be able to debunk the claims of their international opponents.
    On the other hand, Government should be encouraging the production of electricity from the sun. Solar power can provide the Barbadian consumer with more than just a warm bath. It would be cheaper to erect solar panels for electricity generation. They are less expensive than wind turbines; no maintenance is required and can last a lifetime; and they produce a consistent supply of electricity. As a matter of fact, solar panels can produce electricity whenever there is sunlight even in overcast conditions.
    I understand why solar panels would not be the preferred option for a power company. Once the cost becomes more competitive, individual households and businesses would be able to erect their own and therefore eliminate or reduce their reliance on the power company.
    In anticipation of the obvious question, what would happen at night? Batteries that are charged from the system during the day can maintain power at night. Failing that the supply from BL&P can be used as a backup. This is not science fiction. In Florida persons who use solar energy to produce electricity are allowed by law to sell the excess to their local power company. The consumer turn supplier can even receive a cheque at the end of the month from the power company. As an additional incentive, the United States Federal Government allows a deduction of 30% of the cost of the system for income tax purposes.
    While I understand why BL&P would not push for solar panels to produce electricity, they are in the business to make money: I cannot understand why successive Governments remain so myopic. They should put in place a regime of tax incentives so that the average household can acquire solar panels for electricity generation, or is there more in the mortar than the pestle.


    • @Caswell

      Your comment is on point, the question is when does the government in partnership with BL&P make the move?

      Do we wait until the price of oil reaches USD190 per barrel?

      Commonsense says we should ready the country now!


  6. I find this discussion so stimulating. As I look at this I find myself thinking of an article I read today. dubbed “for the love of caricom” whch somehow seems to reflect us as a people in the region. The article started something like this: Agreeing to agree at a later date: Time Wastage and verbal flamboyance in caricom meetings. The writer goes on in the document to speak of disenchantment and pessimism concerning the future of regional integration and the prosperity of the peoples of caricom .
    Reading this issue about the electricity problem in Barbados seems so similar to the one in my country. I can conclude while leaders pussyfoot and mark time, the region is facing numerous existential threats. We are becoming poorer and more vulnerable to external and internal economic and environmental threats. As this continues from country to country it is the caricom poor who suffer the most llanguishing in poverty and despair over an uncertain future. Quoting from the writer of the article who ends it by quoting Buju …. only hike in the price arm and leg we haffi pay while our leaders play / like nero fiddle while Rome burns.


  7. There is always so much negativity, which is frustrating, but hopefully one day it will propel enough people into actually doing something instead of just complaining.

    Here are some links that should be interesting:

    http://www.iadb.org/en/news/news-releases/2010-12-16/idb-barbados-will-reduce-fossil-fuel,8859.html

    http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=35600282

    Here is an extract:

    1.12 RE Implementation Potential. As shown in figure 1, the implementation of utility scale wind farms (10 Megawatt (MW) or more), biomass cogeneration (20MW), waste to energy (13.5 MW) and SWH are economically and commercially viable (when compared to the avoided cost of diesel, line marked in red in figure 1);
    therefore, these technologies are all recommended and may operate below the avoided cost of fossil fuel. Even today some of the PV technology would be commercially viable in Barbados and it is expected for the rest of the PV
    applications costs to drop in the future. The overall RE potential that could be deployed is estimated at 28.9% of the total installed capacity of electricity generation (in terms of MW).


  8. It might be helpful to this discussion if Mr Worme would provide a graph displaying the 24 hour consumption (generation) of electricity.

    I think there is a strong possibility, not considered above, that the peaks would occur during non-solar production.

    Without massive battery back-up by consumers, BL&P would be obliged to maintain the capacity to guarantee supply under all conditions, so effectively maintaining current infrastructure, even though daylight demand would fall.

    Naturally the “dark” supply would have to rise in price to reflect this and maintain viability.

    Result – no change,

    Until infra-red PV cells are commercially viable, or battery or hydrogen storage is economically widespread, solar energy is not for the majority.

    Windpower is costly, noisy, ugly, inefficient and unreliable – see the Denmark & Germany debacles.

    There are technologies in the pipeline now which may transform energy generation, but at the moment we are at the stage of the first motor cars requiring a man in front waving a red flag.

    If we are really serious about addressing the ever increasing cost of energy in the short term, we should investigate wavepower or self-contained nuclear “batteries” both immediately available off the shelf with 24 hour performance.


  9. Why does CBC, (government owned station) continue to show documentaries on renewable energy especially Solar. I thought it is to educate the man on the street about the benefits of solar powered homes etc, not to facilitate wind turbines as BL&P would like to have, seeing that it is also a controversial topic especially to those folks in St.Lucy


  10. I am technical incompetent so i cannot get into the debate about wind power versus solar power. A friend of mine who just returned from england told me that there solar tiles in use in Great Britain being placed on roof tops which are used to generate electricity.

    If the issue of bl&p having to purchase fuel from SOL’s subsidiary can be resolved, the cost of energy might be cheaper. This is a debate i want to see and I want Mr. Worme to engage the barbadian public on that arrangement. Nothing has changed since the plantocracy system was introduced in barbados. A few people cream of the wealth by explotiing the masses, facilitated by the new negrocrats (I borrowed that term from owen aurthur).


  11. Mr. Worme took the time to come answer all kinds of questions that I asked. Why he chose me I do not know. But can say that he was patient and answered my concerns with what he perceived to be the truth. In my last blog about BLP I guess something hit home that I should be singled out for a one and one confrontation of questions and answers…just as I put up how I felt, he needs to be heard too. So I decided to wait for his answers in writing re my concerns in true fairness of (a) giving him a chance to give me the information to my questions as his company sees it…and (b) for me to do what is fair and blog this information in a correct manner so I understand and the people of Barbados understand…or not! So will wait for Mr. Worme’s answer by e-mail to all I posed to him. And I will continue to pose questions re some grey areas that bother me as a consumer and I have right to hear the other party on these matters…whether I agree or do not…Mr. Worme is a warm and caring man but he is doing what we all do….standing up for a company whether wrong or right because he is an amazing loyal man to the business that he is in…how wonderful if so many of you could have such a man in your companies who stands up to the crap you are doing in the name of your livelihood.

    What i will say is this…in Germany in 2009 I visited a small village in Germany and seeing a lot of solar panels on the roof the next door neighbour.. I found out that this gentleman (in Germany where there is winter and summer) put solar panels across his roof…creating electricity not only for his entire household but was able to generate enough to sell back to the electric company at a profit thereby paying for his investment. There is a gentleman I read about right here in Barbados whose story was in one the local newspapers about his becoming totally solar running his entire house from his solar panels. I thought how lovely it would be that Light & power got rid of all those awful poles and their expensive equipment that seems to be always crashing, and paid or lent money to people to place solar panels in the community – they certainly have the fund to start…community by community..and .I would not mind paying them a little something for the installation and maintenance …we would not need bloody fuel…and please do not tell me the technology is not there…from what I understand within one year at today’s prices, and knowing that fuel going up to excessive proportions again….. those solar panels could be paid for.. On the other hand perhaps banks could renege on lending money for more cars and use those available funds to lend for solar heating….At the end of the day we can demand choices…we cannot continue to sit back, talk about what is wrong in government and our Light & Power system ’till we blue in the face and cannot breathe….how about knowing the route we should take, attack our banker for loans to go solar or perhaps (God forbid!) buy a cheaper car to share within the family selling off the extra SUVs and other must-haves-so-the-neighbours-will see-us-as- successful-affluent people which we are actually very fast becoming not! and investing that money to something that will create a better life for our future generations. It is actually not up the The Barbados Light & Power – (by the way, if truth be known, sold out to Canada by its own shareholders because of a greedy attractive offer of a huge price over the value of their shares. Shame. But you know what? stop crying about Barbados no longer being in the hands of Barbadians…it is Barbadians who sold off their country to the highest bidder. Act on the information that is available to you and demand a lo9an with low interests in the interest of the community being able to save energy, make Barbados the first island to do this fully…and guess what Sir Bank? perhaps giving back to the community that has made you so darned rich and for which to date you are showing very little loyalty back could bring back rewards you never thught possible…like parhaps to start with …confidence!!


  12. Whether because of political expediency or not Opposition Leader has jumped into the fray. It is an issue which will have some resonance with Barbadians given the times. Whatever the motives the different stakeholders have it is a conversation we need to have.issue which will have some resonance with Barbadians given the times. Whatever the motives the different stakeholders have it is a conversation we need to have.


  13. It seems to me that there are two costs for electricity which the consumer bears.

    The first is for the electricity itself. This contains the component from which BL&P makes its 10% return, pays for its depreciation of plant and equipment and keeps its employees employed.

    It is fixed by FTC.

    The second is the FAC which can vary all over the place and which represents the cost of fuel.

    Noone in Barbados has control over it.

    It seems to me that both the consumer and BL&P are adversely affected by this second component.

    If the consumer reduces his consumption to fight the increase in the second component BL&P will sell less and get less from the first component so it becomes harder for it to meet its 10% return and upkeep its capital.

    Unlike any other company in Barbados it has hundreds of millions of dollars in capital invested. OK, maybe the Arawak Cement plant and the Telephone Company might be up there but it is difficult to rattle off names of others in the same boat.

    Their capital depreciates as it is used. It has to be maintained and ultimately be replaced as technology changes. The Telephone Company is probably more affected by technology improvements.

    The consumer won’t be held to ransom by the FAC.

    He will reduce consumption or perhaps even stop consuming.

    That will hurt BL&P.

    The solution has be part of a joint effort.

    Both parties are in jeopardy.


  14. I can’t believe that you are giving credence to anything worme has to say.

    If worme say,”walk”, run like hell. Very little that he has to say makes any kind sense. What he says must be taken with a pound of salt.

    He is a true propoganda Minister. Joseph Goebbels would have been proud of him.


  15. Barbadians are not totally blameless in this instance. After all we elected to sell our shares to EMERA. They didn’t take them at gunpoint. We were advised to sell the shares by the Management of the Barbados Light and Power and we accepted their advice. At the time I thought this was crazy advice knowing the Management of the Barbados Light and Power has a long history of misleading Barbadians. So we ignored all past actions of the Barbados Light and Power Management and we allowed them to fool us one more time.

    http://bajan.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/emera-about-to-steel-barbados-light-power-co-ltd/

    Christopher Halsall | January 11, 2011 at 12:25 PM |
    It should be noted that it is the fiduciary duty of directors of any public company to maximize the returns for their shareholders. The directors have no such obligation to their consumers.

    I spoke to a friend of mine who is a long-term minority shareholder in BLPH. He said he was waiting to see what the larger (institutional) local holders were going to do, but if they sold their shares he said he would as well.

    Short term gains should never outweigh long-term losses or risks.

    As soon as BLPH is 50% plus one share in the control of a foreign entity, the game is over (IMHO).

    Carson C. Cadogan | January 11, 2011 at 3:01 PM |

    “Rawdon Adams on the Barbados Light & Power fire sale”

    Over at BARBADOS FREE PRESS is an article by RAWDON ADAMS the son of former Prime Minister TOM ADAMS.

    RAWDON is bitterly opposed to the sale of the Barbados Light and Power Company to overseas interests.

    http://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/rawdon-adams-on-the-barbados-light-power-fire-sale/

    IT IS REQUIRED READING FOR all BEFORE ANY THOUGHT OF SELLING BARBADOS LIGHT AND POWER COMPANY SHARES.

    A few comments from the thread.

    Read and weep!


  16. Straight Talk

    It might be helpful to this discussion if Mr Worme would provide a graph displaying the 24 hour consumption (generation) of electricity.

    I think there is a strong possibility, not considered above, that the peaks would occur during non-solar production.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You find that out by reading your meter at 8pm and 8a am.

    I got a friends who consume most electricity when they sleep!!

    There must be a simple explanation but for the moment we realise we got to figure it out if they want control of what they spend on electricity.


  17. Carson

    The biggest disservice done the electricity consuming public was to subsidise the FAC for a year.

    Remember, some clown decided GOB would keep the FAC at 23 cents per kWh back in October 2007.

    What we are seeing now we would have seen and dealt with years ago.

    Tell us who the politicians took the loan from on our behalf and what are its terms?

    Because while having to deal with the FAC now we also got to deal with the fact that we owe somebody probably in excess of $100 million.

    We have been truly FACT by some real clowns.


  18. BL&P should show in print Government taxes on the electricity bill. You will find that the:
    fuel charge $0.473105
    Vat 17.50%
    all represent monies going to the Government.
    Customer charge
    Energy 1st Blk $0.15 per kWh
    Energy 2nd Blk @$0.176 per kWh
    goes to the BL&P

    Whatever we call we call Worme we ought to remember when the then leader of opposition Mia said that it will be a burden on the poor people to placed fuel costs on them. We cannot deny that she said that. We complain, but if there was one thing that the DLP government could have used was that advice.

    Along with increase VAT on food items and across the board, we are paying increased road tax, increased license fees. Still we are asked to eat healthy on the remaining monies. Government should subsidize now on electricity or at least remove the VAT from the electric and water bills. We are paying VAT on everything else.

    Increase your Taxes on the income bracket that is able to take a family on vacation for 3 to 4 weeks annually. A two week vacation is still a vacation.


  19. HOME

    This is what will ease the situation.

    We need a private public partnership on this vexing issue.

    In spite of all the pain and suffering of electricity consumers, the Barbados Light and Power Company is making profit hand over fist.

    Therefore what the Barbados Light and Power Company needs to do in the public interest, their consumers and customers, is to absorb some of the increase cost to them for a period of one year. They can afford to do that as they are awash in after tax profits.

    On the other hand the Government needs to remove the VAT on all electricity bills for the corresponding one year period.

    That would give electricity consumers some much needed breathing space.


  20. For those of you who think that the generation of electricity from solar panels is not viable, let me tell you a story.

    A non-national built a house in St. Joseph and did not have a connection from BL&P. He had a stove, fridge, washer, drier, television and other household appliances all of which were supplied from the solar panels. He lived there peacefully for some time until he made one fatal mistake, that was, he introduced a tourist restaurant to solar energy. Rather than ask him to assist this country by introducing that technology in order to lower our dependence on fossil fuels, he was reported to Immigration and he was asked to leave the country. Bye bye solar power, hello massive profits for BL&P.


  21. Slightly off topic: BU understands BL&P senior management ‘encouraged” all employees to sell out to EMERA. Perhaps someday the truth about the EMERA deal will be made public.


  22. An accolade to anti-American who single handedly took on Stephen Worme and BL&P today on the talk show. In 10 minutes he showed what our week kneed journalists have not shown themselves competent to do. The only short coming in the exchange was an absence of discussion about RE sources of energy, a great disappointment. today on the talk show. In 10 minutes he showed what our week kneed journalists have not shown themselves competent to do. The only short coming in the exchange was an absence of discussion about RE sources of energy, a great disappointment.


  23. i am sorry for those poor persons and pensioners whose elec. bill is at a ridiculous rate now. i KNEW that from time those bajan money hungry policyholders in the BL&P sold their shares to that canadian co. all hell would have broken loose with our electricity bills. i know mr worme would have to justified and site that crap about oil prices etc but at the end of the day that canadian co. has to give huge profits to their shareholders and they don’t give a damn about us in this third world country. we bowed to their expected beliefs, (we cannot see beyond a dollar).

    i will say that my bill DOES NOT go over $100. i changed my bulbs to the energy saving ones, i turn off my computer at night, i have un-plugged my DVD, threw out the microwave and replaced it with a toaster oven. unplug my fridge when not at home and it there’s no cooked food in it. (my fridge works perfect) so don’t even try telling me that this damages the fridge). i am determine that they will not get my money. wash once a week, some things i wash by hand. I am determine, they will NEVER get more than $100 from me. I have a relative whose bill DOES NOT go over $60.00, yes she unplugs her fridge too.

    why must barbados not look to do something different and new? must we be same o same o, all the days of our life? they are other ways of generating electricity, look into to it.


  24. @ Home – see this link (http://www.blpc.com.bb/photos/BL&P%20-bill%20charges%20050711-r.jpg) for a breakdown of who gets what from an average 300 kWh bill (approx $235).

    – Gov’t gets 15% of the total bill in the form of VAT.
    – 60% goes to BNOC to pay for the fuel used in generating electricity and this includes the actual cost of the fuel plus the excise
    – The remaining 25% is what BL&P gets to cover costs and and an approximate 10% return on their high capital investment. This is something that thee government approved through the company’s regulator at the last rate hearing.


  25. I would also encourage people to have a look at page 18 of BL&P’s 2010 annual report: http://www.blpc.com.bb/photos/BLP%20REPORT.pdf

    Here is the breakdown of where your bill wen tin 2010

    53% Fuel
    18% Labour & Materials
    14% Taxes & VAT
    7% Capital Investment
    3% repayment of borrowings
    2% Insurance
    2% dividends
    1% interest and finance charges

    so only 2% of the bill goes to those evil Canadians; in fact a little less as they own only about 80% so 1.6%.

    People need to stop the conspiracy mongering, accept that they should bear the full cost of fuel imported to generate the electricity they use, and if anything pressure the governmeent to reform the excise tax from a progressive rate to a fix amount per quantity. The Government is actually benefiting at the expense of everyone else when oil prices rise because of how the excise tax (and for that matter VAT) is calculated.


  26. This. matter of high power rates has rallied Bajans in a way not seen for a long time. The government is left with no choice with the budget looming to ease the tax on electricity bills. They will be reluctant to do it because of contracting govern revenues but the flip side is that it should generate more consumer confidence to spend. A rock and a hard place position.government is left with no choice with the budget looming to ease the tax on electricity bills. They will be reluctant to do it because of contracting govern revenues but the flip side is that it should generate more consumer confidence to spend. A rock and a hard place position.


  27. The issue of preferred pricing for oil put in pace to mitigate price volatility is an issue as well.

    However we need to start discussing RENEWABLE. ENERGY.


  28. David, well put. The Government can’t afford to subsidize the fuel as was donee in the past but the can afford to reform the tax approach. Because fuel is up they are taking in greater tax revenues than would likely have been expected from excise and VAT. I expect they’ll do something with one or both of those items next month.


  29. And the RE is very key. BL&P need to update the public on the trial project where some are selling back into the grid. They need to refine the rider which currently is paying too much back to those sellers because of the way the price calculation was formulated – it shoudl simply be at themarginal rate of generation + fuel and vary monthly, perhaps to be calculated and approved by the FTC as is the case for the fuel charge. And they need to encouage more people to put these things in place. Its in everyone’s interest to reduce the amoutn of forex we spend on fuel. Enough sunshine falls on this island each and every day to power the whole place.


  30. X

    “pressure the governmeent to reform the excise tax from a progressive rate to a fix amount per quantity. The Government is actually benefiting at the expense of everyone else when oil prices rise because of how the excise tax (and for that matter VAT) is calculated”

    I am not letting the Barbados Light and Power Company off the hook. They have to exercise a better degree of Corporate responsibility to the people of Barbados whom they serve. By all means let the Government make sacrifices for the good of the people. However the Barbados Light and Power Company must be willing to absorb a potion of increased costs. Lord knows that they can for at least a short period of time.


  31. @David and X et al…

    Can anyone tell me where the latest Cable and Wireless (Barbados) Annual Report is available on the Internet?

    It seems to me that many Bajans spend more on telephony than they do on electricity.

    And yet every URL at http://www.candw.com.bb/ results in a 404 message. Even the “home page”.

    Hmmmm….


  32. Another thing consumers have to consider when dealing with the Barbados Light and Power Company.

    The Barbados Light and Power Company actually profits from incorrect interim bills.

    When electricity consumers are charged much higher electricity bills, the company then does an actual reading of the consumer meter. The difference between what the consumer is charged and what the bill ought to be is refunded in one way or the other.

    The extra money which the consumer is charged is deposited in the Barbados Light and Power Company’s Bank account. These excess funds generate interest for the Barbados Light and Power Company and none of it is passed onto the electricity consumers.

    So again the Barbados Light and Power profits from the misfortune of electricity consumers.


  33. That’s because C&W sucks at just about everything they do. Like a big splashy 4G announcement followed by a big splashy iPhone launch. Try to find a 4G netwrok to connect to, or an iPhone to buy – not that you would want to pay the ridiculous iPhone rates.


  34. @X: “That’s because C&W sucks at just about everything they do.

    That doesn’t answer my question.

    You correctly pointed out the BL&P AR defines how much money was made by the Company (and other stakeholders).

    I’m trying to bring to the table a comparative incumbent monopoly’s take.

    But for some reason, the “LIME” AR doesn’t seem to be so easily accessible….


  35. @ CC

    I don’t disagree entirely. But again, the 10% ROE was negotiated and approved by the regulator – a gov’t agency. Hold them accountable. But perhaps this is too high, I don’t have the perspective to judge. I would say though that comparing them to BWA and C&W, the other two major utilities, I would argue that BL&P is more transparent, progressive, responsive and customer friendly.

    Also, your assessment of the intermin bill effect is partially flawed. It can actually benefit you if your interim bill is higher that what was actually used if the subsequent month’s fuel charge is higher than the interim bill month. That is because the usage per the bill in the subsequent month would be lower. But if you don’t belive that you can take pictures of your meter and email them to BL&P every other month and they will base the bill on that. You can also make an arrangement to call in your meter reading every month and they will issue bills on that basis – I suppose they would probably still send the meter reader to make sure you’re not understating the bill. This is another example of progressive nature of the company.

    And before anyone says anything I am not a BL&P employee. David can probably check my IP adress and confirm that I work for a bank.


  36. and your question seemed rhetorical. I would’ve thought a computer savant such as yourself would’ve looked on the company’s current website first or at least second, but certainly before posting such a question.


  37. @X: “Halsall, here you go, links to what you want.

    Thank you.

    Isn’t it interesting that on page 18 the Company reports $50.6 million in income after taxation in 2010. And then we should add another $166.7 million for “retained earnings brought forward”.

    Note, however, that Cable & Wireless (West Indies) hold 81% of the shares….


  38. There is a fantastic business opportunity for Bajans with the technical know how to exploit.

    The FAC hurts both BL&P and the consumer the B&P because it forces the consumer to reduce his consumption so BL&P sells less and the consumer because he pays more for the same electricity.

    The way seems clear for people with the technical know how to make and sell energy derived from alternative sources to BL&P for on sale to the consumer.

    That means the FAC reduces because the BL&P sels a product with a reduced oil component.

    All parties benfit.

    The small supplier with the technical know how because he has to profit from his product.

    BL&P because they sell electricity with a reduced FAC and can reduce costs.

    The Consumer because they pay less FAC and will consume more.

    This must be a win win win situation.

    It needs people with the technical know how to take up BL&P’s offer and make electricity for sale. That electricity will need to meet the specs imposed by BL&P so it is no easy ride for the supplier.

    It will not happen overnight but if the oil component is to be reduced, people who can have to do.

    All parties can benefit.


  39. Regarding VAT, if I understand the FAC to be a cost passed on to the consumer the BL&P does not mark it up.

    There is an argument which might go, no markup, no value added, so no Value Added Tax.

    BL&P should collect and pay VAT on anything they add value to like the rest of businesses in Barbados.

    Every little bit of reduction of the utility bill will help.


  40. @John: “The Consumer because they pay less FAC and will consume more.

    John et al…

    Here’s a wild idea…

    Why don’t we all consume less?

    Or is that simply not an option in our modern world?


  41. @John: “Regarding VAT, if I understand the FAC to be a cost passed on to the consumer the BL&P does not mark it up. There is an argument which might go, no markup, no value added, so no Value Added Tax.

    There is indeed such an argument.

    I support your observation.


  42. @ X
    “People need to stop the conspiracy mongering, accept that they should bear the full cost of fuel imported to generate the electricity they use, and if anything pressure the government to reform the excise tax from a progressive rate to a fix amount per quantity.”

    Very interesting comment. Essentially, having relative prices reflect relative costs is efficient in that it encourages consumers to choose the alternative that uses fewer of the island’s resources. I agree with the government’s fuel price mechanism policy. If the previous administration had allowed the domestic market prices of petroleum products to reflect fully the cost increase without any further government intervention (subsidies), some dramatic changes in consumer habits would have occurred.
    On the demand side, consumers would have made drastic readjustment in their consumption patterns; e.g. firms would have explored alternative sources of power, and household would have reduced on oil consumption by a series of measures ranging from buying cars with lower fuel consumption ratings to economizing on electricity. Additionally, this would have provided the incentive to develop technologies to search for alternative sources of energy, such as solar heating.

    Under the past arrangement, although the real cost of petroleum rose, consumers were not presented with domestic prices that fully reflected this. They paid the full extra cost, but in terms of taxes used to subsidise the prices of oil for domestic use. Being unaware of this extra cost, consumers did not have the full incentive to economize on oil.
    Unfortunately, firms and households were making decisions on new capital and consumption that made sense at the subsidized market prices of oil but were wasteful at the real world price.


  43. For the business opportunity to be really attractive we need to find the source of renewable energy that can produce a kWh for a price that would be attractive for BL&P to buy.

    We know the FAC is at the moment 47 cents.

    Is this the goal that needs to be met?

    What is the rate at which BLP will buy a kWh of electricity from a supplier using renewable energy?

    If the renewable energy source cannot meet that number then there is probably no use in pursuing the opportunity with that source.


    • @John

      Surely you jest?

      What about the opportunity cost of saving foreign exchange from fossil fuel imports? Have you factored?

      What about the vision to implement an RE strategy to diversity the risk which comes from almost 100% dependence on fossil generated energy?


  44. @BU.David: “What about the vision to implement an RE strategy to diversity the risk which comes from almost 100% dependence on fossil generated energy?

    Might you please expand on your nebulousness statement, Sir?

    What do you think about the fact that all photovoltaic solutions come from outside of Barbados?

    Should we invest in them, or invest in other technologies?


    • @Chris

      Do you also understand that the exchanges here is not about creating request for proposals but to butt heads generating ideas which may or may not lead somewhere?


  45. @David: “Do you also understand that the exchanges here is not about creating request for proposals but to butt heads generating ideas which may or may not lead somewhere?

    I understand that very well.

    That’s why I’m playing.

    And am so enjoying the “game”.

    So, then, let’s keep “butting heads”

    It might actually lead to something useful….


  46. If you cannot sell your product for more than it costs to make …. well …. that will be a deterrent to anyone setting up …. and if you don’t even know the price you can sell for ……. that makes no sense.

    The shareholders of BL&P know the return they expect for investing their money, why shouldn’t the person or persons setting up?

    Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    An investment in energy for public consumption is a long term investment and should only be done by people who are in it for the long haul.

    You are of no use if you provide impeccaple service and product today and can’t be found tomorrow.

    You really have not helped the situation.

    You are just a transient and not a part of the steady state.

    So I repeat my question again.

    What price will be paid for the product?


  47. @John: “So I repeat my question again. What price will be paid for the product?

    Whatever is the asking price. Obviously.

    But perhaps another question might be asked…

    Might their be another answer?


  48. Chris

    What we really need is someone who owns a whole lot of land, has lots of money, and has some balls…

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    What we really need is someone who owns a whole lot of land, has lots of money, and has some brain!!

    It is no use saying that the price of oil has gone up making the generation of electricity from renewable energy attractive without being able to answer basic questions like:

    How attractive?

    What type of renewable energy technology?

    The link you give says it is estimated that the cost of producing electricity from towers will fall to 5.47 cents per kWh by 2020.

    What is it now?

    What is the holdup?

    What price will be possible for a kWh of electricity?

    … and if such technology were adopted what would happen to it in a hurricane?

    Will designing in features to deal with a hurricane increase the cost and by how much?

    When questions like these are answered it may make no sense to adopt this technology.

    Then again it may.

    Balls only come in to the equation when it is determined it is sensible to adopt the technology and the unanswerable question “what will happen to the price of oil in the future” needs to be answered.

    Until then it is all brain.


  49. @John: “What we really need is someone who owns a whole lot of land, has lots of money, and has some brain!!

    ROFLMFAO…

    I have to say, I’m really enjoying this…

    Let us, just for speculation, say that one creates a Solar Power Tower dependent upon rheostats with reflective Mylar. Cheap. Replaceable.

    The rheostats reflects ~90% of the sunlight each receives for its lifespan. Each does its job well.

    A storm blows through… Boo hoo…

    The next day the array is back on-line.

    There is absolutely no reason this modern day technology cannot be used here in Barbados here and now.

    All it takes is someone with some land, some money, some balls, (and, as John has correctly pointed out) some brains.


  50. Towers can be designed to withstand hurricane force winds. So too can typical Solar panels. Check the net on Solar panel’s standing up to hurricanes in Florida.

    Granted the economics for installing solar systems that can reduce reliance on the grid substantially by individuals today does not look good. But, could the installation of PV systems on many roofs and in many yards by individual householders be promoted and incentivised as initially a method for partial reduction of dependence on fossil fuels and total provision of BASIC off grid emergency power as the main objective for the persons opting for such a system? Lets say such a system at today’s costs could be 10-15K Barbados. At 15K it might mean that it could be financed by the savings from acquiring and driving a small Suzuki rather than a BMW or even a mid sized Toyota car or by other savings, such as reducing the days of an annual family vacation, as just two examples. The panels are normally guaranteed for 25 years and specialized batteries can last for 10 or more years if properly maintained.

    In the same way that solar water heating panels are installed on most roofs in Barbados, couldnt some updated incentives be put in place to attract those who can afford it or are foward thinking, and willing to take the chance, to put up these relatively small solar PV systems on their roofs?

    The economics might look bad now but I think there is a good future for PV systems in Barbados as research progresses, some of it by the people at UWI who are following in Oliver Headley’s footsteps. I have a small PV system and it works. It puts out consistently more amps than its maximum rating for a few hours each day. It produces some electricity during overcast hours and Peak Hours appear to be around 7 hours generally in Barbados per day as compared with the 5 that are normally used in calculations.


  51. checkit-out

    How many people have the technical know how which you are demonstrating?

    Personally doing something for your home will barely dent the problem.

    Whatever solution or technology is used has to be useable by many houses.

    Some combination of individual installations and large scale applications needs to happen.

    Perhaps the large scale application will come out of the experimenters like yourself eliminating the technologies that won’t work on a larger scale and arriving at a “perfect” solution for all.

    Perhaps it is the wind farm proposed by BL&P or the solar tower by Chris.

    Maybe the Government will go nucular!!

    But you cannot expect large numbers of average householders with no technical background to do the things you are doing.

    Whatever solution that is found has to comprehend the lack of technical experience and justifiable fear of electricity most Bajans have.

    Whatever people may say, BL&P provides an exceptionally good user friendly service to its customers most of whom are comfortable not to know any technical details about their supply because BL&P takes care of those issues.

    A package has to be presented to houseowners in a fashion whereby they derive the same level of comfort they have with BL&P.

    I remember buying a solar water heater in 1981 in the early days of solar. A unit arrived was installed on top of my house and I had hot water. I was comfortable with the product and service so it can be done, but water and electricity are very different utilities.

    If you are not on top of your game with electricity you can kill yourself or somebody else. Water will just wet you up.

    Whatever solutions are found need to be expandable to a scale that is large enough to address the problem.

    So, when you are working with your “baby”, think how it could be made easily available to many persons.

    We will get to a solution but many dead ends need to be explored.


    • @John

      The problem you have identified is not insurmountable.

      All it means is that a thriving solar energy adoption would create an opportunity for some technical people.

      What you and some others don’t seem to factor is that we have no choice if we want to survive and or protect our way of living.


  52. The framework for all of this already exists jusst go on to BL&P’s website and read all the documents posted under the Renewable Energy Rider (RER). It is, like all things from BL&P, well thought out and addresses all issues including safety.

    What should be done and could be politically very positive is the following:
    – give the middle class a tax break on installing systems that sell back to the grid. not something undefined like they have for environmentally friendly product, but something specific and turnkey. Like a 15k or 20k deduction.
    – push BL&P to partner with a number small indiginous electrical engineering firms – I’m sure they are plenty out there that could bring houses up to code to address the safety concerns and satisfy that aspect of the RER and put some panels on your roof. Provide these guys with some Government support for commercial bank loans – not handouts and don’t lend money directly,, let the oversight of a commercial bank act as a controling mechanism.
    – encourage folks witha campain showing the benefits. Tell them that a 20k installation will only really cost you 13k after the tax deduction and then you’ll earn back $X a month selling back to the grid. Just based on my amateur interest in this topic suggests to me that a $20k system would generate say $250 to $300 a month in revenue at reasonable rates (say @ variable fuel charge plus a small margin – not a big margin as is indicated in the documents currently) – that’ll pay back your investment in about 4 years.

    I would do it in a heartbeat but I’m not an electrical engineer and can’t do it myself. With this sort of framework, institutionalised and blessed by the government, partnered with local companies and the banks, you would create all kinds of economic activity, develop a new local capabilities – really a whole new local industry that entrepreneurs could then take to other islands. Over time, instead of spending hundreds of millions of hard currency to buy fuel to generate electricity you have clean Bajan made power.

    I realise that there are many ccomplexities but


  53. … but the public is now finally aware of the true unsubsidized cost of resources needed to bring power to their homes and the risks that we are exposed to vis a vis volatile fuel prices.


  54. @Carson
    I agree with you one hundred percent that BL&P gets substantial profits. A minimum per month collected from 150,000 customers at $40.00 (only minimum) calculates $6,000,000.00. I repeat monthly. So, yes, man they can subsidize at some point. Also, the interim bills allow them to take 100% in addition to real bill when read. My money is tied up in an interim bill whilst they use it on their bank deposits.

    Barbadians can demand govenrment to remove the VAT from electricity and demand the BL&P give some exactly what you (Carson) proposes in this exchange.

    Consumers can indeed place our demands. Let us do it until an alternative provision is made we will all relay on electricity generated and supplied by BL&P.


  55. Again BU echoes the point that the national conversation needs to move to how can we integrate alternate energy solutions into our energy plan. The FAC is a fickle component of the BL&P billing and we can argue until the cows come home rising oil price driven by geopolitics will always come back to torment us. Also the forex savings cannot* be ignored.

    Let us understand we have to jump out of the box as far as our thinking goes. tions into our energy plan. The FAC is a fickle component of the BL&P billing and we can argue until the cows come home rising oil price driven by geopolitics will always come back to torment us. Also the forex savings cannot* be ignored.

    Let us understand we have to jump out of the box as far as our thinking goes.


  56. X

    I agree with you almost wholeheartedy except that I think the person who would want to put up an off-grid system should not be excluded from the incentives and other developments as long as the system is within agreed specs. Very good post


  57. Sorry,

    the last paragraph:
    ‘Consumers can indeed place our demands. Let us do it until an alternative provision is made we will all relay on electricity generated and supplied by BL&P.’

    should say:-
    “Consumers can indeed place our demands. Let us do it until an alternative provision is made where we won’t rely on electricity generated and supplied by the BL&P.”

    If it is solar panels – Dr. Simmons has proven it works and its value. A local has tried and continues to prove it let us do it.


  58. I’ve looked into the offgrid systems and I just don’t see them being as beneficial. There is a misalignment between generation and usage (peak use in my home is early morning and evening not during the day); and batteries are expensive and don’t last as long in this climate as they might in the US. It’s good for small hobby systems and good for supporting agribusinesses and other commerical activities where usage and generation are aligned (agri-work tends to occur, and businesses are open during daylight hours) but at the residential level I believe based on my calculations that you have to sell back to the grib for the investment to make financial sense.

    But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be incented for your off-grid system – zero VAT rated solar panels and other incentives might be more suited though. You see the selling back to the grid has broader benefits because a lot of people could become net generators benefiting the system beyond their own home. A standalone system doesn’t have the same benefit.


  59. checkit-out

    I have a small PV system and it works. It puts out consistently more amps than its maximum rating for a few hours each day. It produces some electricity during overcast hours and Peak Hours appear to be around 7 hours generally in Barbados per day as compared with the 5 that are normally used in calculations.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Please correct my assumptions and numbers below as I try to work out what power output is possible from photovoltaic panels on a roof in Barbados and run some figures.

    I will use your figure for peak sunlight.

    A quick search of the net reveals 10 – 12 watts per square foot for a photo voltaic panel

    http://www.solarpanelstore.com/

    7 hours of good sun per day as per checkit-out

    Therefore 70-84 watt hours of output on a square foot of roof on a bright day.

    A 2000 – 3000 square foot roof can thus produce at worst 140kWh per day and at best 252 kWh per day.

    Looking good so far if figures and assumptions right.

    Two days out of a month will produce more than enough for me leaving me to sell 26-29 days of generation to the grid.

    I am assuming the whole roof is covered in the photovoltaic panels.

    Cost is probably high.

    Clearly this is overkill if all I want is to supply myself.

    I can divide the 2000-3000 by say 25 to get a footprint for panels to supply me for a month.

    That comes out to 80-120 square feet.

    Lets say 100 square feet.

    Given the 10 -12 watts per square foot 100 square feet equates to 1-1.2 kwatt system.

    From youtube it appears that in the US the average size is 4kWatts.

    So lets see what the cost of a 4kWatt system is?

    Here is a link for a 5kWatt system at $17,995.00 US.

    http://www.solarpath1.com/yinglim190/yinglim190.htm?gclid=COKT77mOhKoCFYeQ5godi0OC0A

    If I were to purchase and set up such a system I would only use 1-1.2 kWatts in my home so I might have as much as 4kWatts or 80% of the capacity available for sale back to the utility company.

    How many kWh is that?

    Back to 7 hours of good sunlight .. that is 28kWh per day or 28×365/12 = 851kWh per month.

    My word!!!

    Are these figures right?

    If I got 10 cents per kWh that would be $85.10 per month in income on top of “free” electricity.

    If I got 20 cents per kWh I would get $170.20 per month.

    If I got 50 cents I would get $425.50 per month.

    My outlay would be $36,000.00 for this unit.

    At 50 cents per kWh I would get $5100.00 per year … plus “free” electricity.

    At 10 cents per kWh I would get $1200.00 per year … plus “free” electricity.

    At 10 cents per kWh it will take me a long time to get the unit to pay for itself.

    At 50 cents per kWh it starts to look good.

    We need to know what is the rate we will be paid before an outlay of this order?

    There is no doubt it could be attractive for all concerned.


  60. @David
    Oil price will be volatile and in the event China’s economy crashes then oil could drop below $75. However, the massive demand increase projected over the next 5-7yrs versus the potential for net supply increases projects to oil over $200. We all need to consider that the Saudi’s et al have lied about reserves and that major elephant fields have not be discovered in locations that are reasonably costed for extraction eg the fields off Brazil will take 10yrs to exploit with horrific costs that will require very high prices to make economic sense.


  61. @John –

    http://www.blpc.com.bb/bus_energyrider.cfm#D

    MONTHLY RENEWABLE ENERGY CREDIT

    All kWh supplied to the grid @ 1.8 times the Fuel Clause Adjustment or 31.5 cents/kWh, whichever is greater.

    The Fuel Clause Adjustment is calculated according to the Fuel Clause approved by the Fair Trading Commission and may vary from month to month.


  62. John re. your post of July 15, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    First, some caveats. My system is really a small one. 215 watts only and 12 volts. The peak hour figure of circa 7 was calculated in May this year when there were a significant number of rainy days. I only use it to run a computer system, some security lights and the lights in my computer room, a TV and fans and occasionally, in power outages, some small power tools. In an emergency it could run essential lights, a computer system, a thermoelectic cooler and some small power tools. If I carried up the wattage to say 1/2 kilowatt, it could run a small Energy efficient fridge in addition to the above. The system is entirely off-grid using batteries, which in Barbados are very expensive ranging from 315 $ bds for a marine battery to 550$ for a 6 volt golf cart battery.

    My intervention is from the point of view of a minimalist system that can provide SILENT essential power in an emergency and has no tie in to the Grid but can be used on an everyday basis to reduce the monthly BL&P bill by about 9 to about 15 percent depending on ones usage pattern.

    Of course, from an economic standpoint, Grid tie in is the way to go and as you have pointed out, the economics of such lie almost totally with the money BL&P pays out per Kilowatt hour.

    I think that we need the professionals to weigh in here with data from Barbados studies. I consider my small system as a lab but I think the UWI group. Dr Clarke, the Energy specialist, and some BL&P technicians could give us some better data on various parameters for Barbados. e.g. I think in Barbados, because of its being fairly near the equator, is likely to be a more energy efficient location than the North America or european sites for which average data are normally taken. Thus the figures you gave of 10-12% energy efficiency for panels might well be closer to 12-13% under Barbados’ conditions.

    I think that Government policy should be aimed primarily at increasing the numbers of people usin grid-tied systems but that it is possible, in a hurricane and storm prone area, that eventually there could be enough people guided and incentivsed to put solar systems on their roofs, serviced by knowledgeable providers to make an economic difference for the country.

    The Solar water heating example by Solar Dynamics is a guiding beacon in this regard. Hot water for bathing in Barbados is not really essential but the combination of Government incentives and the entrepreneurial wisdom and actions by James Husbands made it possible for Barbados to become the leader in this hemisphere of the usage of solar heating. Solar PV generation is just a small step in this continuum and I think James Husbands has a further role to play in this along with other RE professionals now in Barbados.

    I don’t fine it too difficult to dream of a Barbados landscape with as many solar PV panels on the roofs as there are solar water heaters. The key is in how it is promoted and supported by Government and the private sector. In addition, it has the potential to provide a significant number of reasonably good jobs for new entrants into this new system.

    I had a quick look at your maths and I don’t find anything to fault.


  63. Brutus

    With a FAC of 47 cents per kWh I would get 1.8 times that for the energy supplied to the grid.

    The 50 cents I did the math for now becomes 84.6 cents and the yearly income $8629.

    That seems unbelievably generous!!!!

    Maybe I made a mistake or do not understand what BL&P is offering.

    If the FAC continues to rise there is a real incentive for a homeowner to put in such a system. If I understood Mr. Worme it sounds like he is saying it will probably continue to do so.

    Let’s say I got this right so far.

    There are additional costs.

    The physical installation of the hardware.

    The electrical hookup.

    Perhaps the strenghtening of the roof or the building of a structure to accommodate the panels. It is no point putting thousands of dollars ontop a shed roof that will blow down the first high wind that passes.

    A plus for houses that have been designed and built with hurricane resistance in mind. They have the potential to become money earners for their owners with minimal upgrade.

    I would imagine if BL&P is going to buy electricity from such an home owner they are going to want to know about the dependability of the “plant” from which they will be buying.

    Here is a link to a 4 kW example which I found interesting.

    The numbers are from 2009, so expect the costs may be lower now.

    http://sonic.net/~jmgrant/solar/solar.php

    This is a package an elecrical contractor could offer homeowners.

    In fact anyone who can marry the electrical discipline and the structural discipline could offer the service.

    BL&P seems to offer a very generous incentive where rates are concerned.

    Maybe I am not understanding them.

    It would be nice to know that if I imported one of these units I would not have to pay 17.5% in VAT plus whatever the import duty is.

    If I had a VAT registered business I could probably claim the VAT back.

    Hey, if I did this on a scale of 10 or more I might be able to incorporate a company which received a yearly income in excess of the $80,000 and so had to be VAT registered.

    Looks like the US state governments offer some form of rebate. Something along those lines would be good from the GOB.

    Maybe this is something that could work ……. and the GOB might not have to go nucular.

    A pity the best economic brain in Barbados could only come up with a Government subsidy and perhaps a $100 million debt for the FAC in 2008 and couldn’t look a little further than his nose.

    This thing has potential.

    Closer attention needs to be paid to the numbers …. and the technology.


  64. GreenTechnologies Inc (828-7518) has a plan that works out to eight years of paying a bank back for the purchase and installation of panels,instead of paying BL&P. Your monthly payments would not change, just the people that you are making those payments to.


  65. BAFBFP;

    Is this the Green Technologies Inc. you are referring to?
    http://news.caribseek.com/set-up/exec/view.cgi?archive=176&num=85688

    Any more information on the service. Seems like a very high end off-grid system to me. That’s fine although a grid tied one should be more economic but it illustrates my contention that there is room for both types of systems.

    I suspect, if we search that we might find that the expertise exists for a strategic onslaught on reducing reliance on fossil fuels in Barbados in the not too distant future


    • @checkit-out

      Thank you, that has been the point of the blog all along.

      We need to have an earnest national conversation.

      We need to dismiss the old arguments.


  66. David

    I couldn’t agree with you more. The time is ripe for such a national dialogue and onslaught. We can do it. We can reduce our dependance on fossil fuels. The numbers people have a role; the Government has a role; B,L& P has a role; the several new players with experience in this area have a role; Funding agencies such as IDB and the CDB have a role; Individual householders have a role.

    It is time that Government convenes a serious conference on making renewable energy central to energy independance in Barbados and eventually eliminating fossil fuels, with input from all interest groups and from there develop a national strategy and white paper on how to do it.


  67. John | July 14, 2011 at 9:32 AM |
    Straight Talk

    It might be helpful to this discussion if Mr Worme would provide a graph displaying the 24 hour consumption (generation) of electricity.

    I think there is a strong possibility, not considered above, that the peaks would occur during non-solar production.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You find that out by reading your meter at 8pm and 8a am.

    I got a friends who consume most electricity when they sleep!!

    There must be a simple explanation but for the moment we realise we got to figure it out if they want control of what they spend on electricity.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Looks like they may have figured it out by checking their meter.

    They believe it is some security lights!!!

    They cut their daily consumption by 10 kWh which translates to 300kWh in a month or upwards of $200.00!!

    The FAC may continue increasing and erode the saving but they are now in control of what they consume and control their electricity bill.


  68. And David; BU could champion this. BU could ask contributors to write well researched inputs on various aspects of the background, technical underpinnings, costs, benefits and strategy for achieving energy independance in Barbados. Contributions could be requested from everyone, including politicians of all stripes, with an interest in the subject.

    These “papers” could be fine tuned and presented to Government as a roadmap to how we can get the required results. It may be one way that the DLP Government could be saved from itself.


    • Effective midnight, Sunday, July 17, the retail price of gasoline will increase

      from $3.17 to $3.23 per litre. The price of diesel will decrease by three cents from

      $2.79 per litre to $2.76 per litre, while the retail price of kerosene remains the same

      at $1.93 per litre.


  69. One thing that the exercise of setting up a PV system teaches one is that an energy audit of usage is most important. In John’s example above it was the security lights that was pulling most of the current at night. In my case it was the Electric Stove that was pulling up to 6 kw that was the main culprit in the day. A small PV system and the discipline involved in its implementation forces one to look very carefully at one’s energy usage and correct it.


  70. checkit-out
    Has to be the same. One of the directors is a friend of mine. They are not targeting high end. They will be offering both on and off grid. (Yes batteries are very expensive). The offering will be finalized by October of this year as I understand it. My other friend is Dr Roland Clarke; now he is high end, but he is also preparing an affordable package by October (as a result of feed back from BMEX)


  71. What the GOB could do is to ensure that SJPP and Community College offer training in household renewable energy systems.

    Perhaps power a section of the two campuses with household systems so that hands on training to electricians is offered which will upgrade their skills and bring them into line with what BL&P has on offer to consumer generators.

    Maybe ask BL&P to help.

    My gut feel is that BL&P it will be miles ahead of the game!!!


  72. BAFBPF

    Sounds very good. I know Dr Roland Clarke and indeed he was the Clarke I was referring to in one of my earlier posts. He is a professional in the RE area. Perhaps you could get him to write a fairly detailed piece for BU on what is possible in RE in Barbados, given the current state of the technology, and what the current and/or proposed offerings of the company are.

    In addition, He could well be a resource to BU to answer technical questions ONLY on RE by BU family members.


  73. BAFBFP re your post of July 15, 2011 at 7:04 PM;

    I didn’t quite understand what you said about the financing in that post. Are you saying that the PV system (that is powerful enough to fuel normal household electrical loads) would be installed and paid for up front through a commercial bank package (facilitated by the company) and payments made by the consumer over eight years. Then is there only the costs for batteries (if off-grid) and inverters thereafter for the forseeable future?

    Sounds like an excellent package to me if that is the case!!


  74. There is still the element of scarce foreign exchange to be considered.

    Lets say the pilot scheme of 200 consumer generators results in 10,000 consumers wanting to become consumer generators. That is about 10% of the total consumers.

    Assume these consumers are willing and able to bring their homes/businesses up to a level where reliability, dependability and consistency in the generation of electricity is not an issue.

    Assume by then Barbados has the technical capacity to keep these distributed systems online.

    Say each wants a 5kW system costing $18,000.00USD like the one in the link I gave before.

    The foreign exchange required will be $180,000,000.00 or $180 million USD.

    That is alot of scarce foreign exchange.

    However, that will add 50,000kWatts or 50 mWatts to the grid for the 7 hours of “peak” sun.

    Does anyone know what it would cost in foreign exchange, for BL&P to provide the “same” capacity in generating plant?

    What is the current BL&P capacity and how much is invested in providing it?

    (The 50mWatts should be derated to reflect that it will be dependent on the sun and even then it will not be an exact comparison of apples to apples. Delivering energy 24/7 is completely different from delivering energy 7/7)


  75. @ John
    Do you understand the concept of entering a new era? a different paradigm?

    Essentially it means the imminent review and often the complete reversal of many things that we take for granted.

    …things like cheap, freely available electricity 24 /7 for every citizen.
    … like the ability to jump into an imported car and be anywhere in Barbados in 30 minutes.
    … like jumping on a plane
    …like supermarkets
    .. like personal security

    The Bush man has been enjoying your speculative postulations that seem to start from the basic premise that these things are to be taken as given.

    You will be surprised how easy it will be to fall back into a state of abject poverty and despair once the fragile technologies upon which we have constructed our societies falls apart.
    Think of Sanford as he soared on his pyramid scheme compared to Sanford today after the bottom fell out…

    Only brilliant, wise and inspired leadership during the boom years before 2007 could have prepared a suitable cushion for the coming crash…… Well we all know how THAT went…

    But continue your optimistic postulations … it is quite entertaining.


  76. OK Bush Tea

    The only thing ahead is doom and gloom.

    However, I like to believe that we can think and act in such a way that we can ride out that doom and gloom and provide the means of taking advantage of any future changes in our fortunes for the better.

    A batsman at the wicket needs luck and determination to survive and ultimately prosper but if he gives up and gives away his hand he might as well not have bothered.

    There is a silver lining in every cloud ……. old time wisdom.

    It trumps your paradigm!!


  77. LOL @ John

    Wait! you and BU David are family now? that would have been David’s exact response to BT’s rant LOL…

    The bushman figured that a more science oriented blogger like you would have been able to face up to the reality of our future based on your objective analysis of the facts as they present themselves, and even more clearly based on the (now medium to long term) trends,,,,

    OK! Bushie was wrong… guess it may be better to tell ourselves that all will be well …. despite all the indicators…

    By the way, Bushie does NOT look forward to all gloom and doom…. on the contrary…..


    • @Bush Tea

      You are a real trouble tree.

      What is wrong with looking to improve systems/methodologies whilst on the earth.

      Even if it means a more affordable and or improved quality of life for 2-3 years hence would it not have been worth it?

      How do we face our children if we become defeatist BT? How are we to lift them up?

      As the adults we cannot give up hope, for their sakes man!


  78. Cap fit David? , LOL
    There is clearly nothing wrong with “looking to improve systems/methodologies whilst on the earth”,

    …however there is quite a lot wrong with mixed up priorities and there is even more wrong with continuing to do the same thing over and over … and expecting different results.

    Is it not clear to you yet that our systems are all flawed? NOTHING is working David!!
    What ‘improved quality of life’ what??!! do you mean cheap gas again for a few years? affordable food? GET REAL David.

    The Titanic has been struck and is mortally wounded. You want us to fight to keep it afloat for a few extra hours so we can sink a few meters further on?
    We need to look beyond the doomed vessel and try to understand the PURPOSE of the journey….
    Perhaps even though the Titanic is doomed, she has reached her intended destination….. perhaps the journey has come to its intended end. …Instead of wasting time working on the damaged boat should we not be seeking the lifeboat to the home port?


    • @Bush tea

      Have no problem wearing the hat of the eternal optimist.

      Maybe the process of looking for solutions fits the ‘looking for home port’ position you hold.


  79. Have you ever considered publishing an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs?
    I have a blog based upon on the same subjects you discuss and would
    love to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would enjoy your work.
    If you are even remotely interested, feel free to
    shoot me an e mail.


  80. With an international oil price of USD 100 per barrel and expected system life of ten years, what is the highest installed price (per kW) of battery-based utility-interactive RE (PV) that would result in a lower effective levelized retail cost of electricity for the ‘prosumer’?

Leave a comment, join the discussion.