Barbadian will have to tarry a while longer for the decision from the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) on whether Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) request for a rate hike will be approved. Yesterday the FTC directed the BL&P to revise some assumptions downward used in calculations presented to support the rate hike application. Although it is premature for consumers to assume which way the win is blowing from the current stage of proceedings, it seems reasonable to assume the hike if approved will not be as significant as originally forecast.
The angst being generated at the prospect of a hike in electricity rates should move the government and Barbadians to appreciate the importance of implementing an effective national energy policy. After many years of talk by successive governments about transforming the Barbados space to one where renewable energy sources are prioritized, it seems we continue to labour to get over the hump in the quest for a relevant mix. It does not take a rocket scientist to anticipate the negative effect on inflation accepting that Barbados is a price taker. It seems the majority of Barbadians are oblivious to the fact a significant percent of what we consume is imported. We buy and sell and the rich merchants live fat off the profit margin.
See FTC decision – FTC Issues Decision & Order on BLPC’s rate review application
We continue to struggle with execution although this should come as no surprise if we consider how many less complicated projects are stuck or slowly moving through the pipeline. The Barbados ID project, modernization of the court system to relieve the case load, enacting transparency legislation, rationalization of state owned entities, addressing perennial concerns of the auditor general, recapitalizing the National Insurance Fund, reform of the education system targeting the 11+ exam, moving Barbados to a FAA Category 1 designation …
Back in the day the son of the late Professor Oliver Headley contributed to Barbados Underground and a comment he posted continues to resonate with the blogmaster. Take note his comment was posted in 2008 to the Barbados Solar Industry in flux blog.
Hi everyone. Keith Headley, son of Prof. Oliver Headley here. You know, if you have about 20,000 US you can convert your home to PV (Photovoltaics, electricity from the sun). Skystream, just today sent me an email – 12, 000 to 15,000 US for wind. There are some of us who have to use a lot of electricity. Run a workshop for example and you’ll know. Then there are the rest of us who have to make a choice. Barbados was and is perfect as a renewable energy Heaven. Sustainable anything, like tourism, is expensive. You have to make a decided investment in it, before you see any money.Yes money. PV today is almost as valuable as gold. Wind energy companies are setting record profits. We need to make up our minds what we want. If we do nothing that’s what we will get – nothing. I personally know over a hundred people who are seriously interested in renewable energy in Barbados. But are they as well organised as tourism? No. Are they as well funded? No.Barbados must choose. You do not have to lower your standard of living to live a sustainable life, but it does cost more money. The better your standard of living the more it costs to go green.How much are we willing to invest?Keith Headley
We continue to do the same old things including waiting on a FTC that is hamstrung by politics to regulate a NOT fit for purpose energy sector. A decade from now we maybe having this same conversation. And we call ourselves an educated people.