We have to introduce innovation; technology to maximize agricultural production in small spaces.
Another island wide blackout continues to feed national debate concerning the quality of service being provided by OUR Canadian owned Barbados Light & Power Company. It seems ironic that as you drive around Barbados one cannot help noticing large swaths of land being used to create solar farms, as well as the many roof tops covered with photovoltaic panels. Despite what appears to be a country consumed with harnessing an alternative source of energy, a 7 hour+ outage last week was the result.
The blogmaster has to assume there is science being used to determine the location of these solar farms quickly dotting the island landscape of Barbados. It should not be lost on the planners that integral to island appeal is the natural landscape. Reducing acreage of sugarcane threatens the aesthetically pleasing view with the current trend of planting photovoltaic panels. Again great irony for a country consumed with pandering to tourism, the main sector in the economy.
Important to developing alternative energy sources is balancing the need to contribute to our food security. The blogmaster accepts that because of a high cost base and lack of scale, it is impossible for us to be a significant player in food production. That said, there is nothing wrong if small islands adopt approaches to reduce reliance on food supply from overseas. Surely the recent COVID 19 pandemic that to this day continue to disrupt the global supply chain taught us a lesson?
On June 16, 2013 BU highlighted a presentation by Minister David Estwick – Sugar Cane Production: A Race Against the Clock – in which he laid out government’s strategic plan for restructuring the sugar cane industry. Part of the plan (at the time) was to diversify the sugar cane to generate power and reduce the fuel bill by 150 million dollars. Continue reading →
Barbados Light & Power wind farm project at Lambert’s Plantation abandoned.
While prices are still somewhat out of the reach of the ordinary Barbadian, there are reportedly in excess of 7000 such installations in private homes now in existence here on the island. That figure scares the living daylights out of the Canadian swine who own BL&P. Its interesting to note that Canadian interest own over 35% of the Barbados economic engine including almost all of our local banks, and they do some of the most vile things here to people. Things they couldn’t dream of doing in Canada.
Back to the deployment of these PV systems. If the current growth keeps pace for the next 5 years, Barbados could see almost 65% of its energy generated by an alternative to fossil fuels. That will translate into a humongous savings in the importation of oil and reduce significantly our foreign exchange pay outs from the country. Problem there is, if PV starts to takes root in that manner, some political animal wont get a kick back and that to them is scary. That said, Barbados was involved in the harnessing of Solar Energy for years. Albeit to heat water. If this industry was seen as viable, had a real champion to drive it, and got some seed finding, we may have been producing solar cells and panels by now.
However late this may or may not be now, we need to start legislating that some percentage of the energy produced and consumed here, is “green”. That means that BL&P had to become compliant with that proclamation, or GO!
The late Professor Oliver Headley would be disappointed with the lack of progress in the alternative energy sector were he alive
The Government wants 29% of all electricity consumption to be generated from renewable sources by 2029. That seems ambitious but it is necessary in order for Barbados to help reduce CO2 emissions and help prevent global warming and rises in sea-levels etc.
Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) has been running a pilot study on renewable energy generation for the last couple of years. Under the pilot scheme consumers could install a photo-voltaic panel or wind-power system and get paid for power fed back into the grid.
The Fair Trading Commission has a consultation paper out on the results from the pilot study and the arrangements for the future including what BL&P should pay us for the electricity we generate from renewable systems.
During the two year period of the pilot scheme only 25 customers joined up. That is a tiny percentage of the number of BL&P customers and the response has to call into question the attractiveness of the scheme. If the terms are not made more attractive the Government’s 29% goal would have to be called into question.
One hour of of sunlight hitting the earth can supply energy for one whole day for the entire earth. I was amazed that the government of Barbados as announced by Dr Denis Lowe, would be spending $400 million to set up a waste to energy plant. Who in their right mind could advise a government in a country where we receive sunshine 300 days a year to go the route of burning garbage?
Let me as a citizen of Barbados be bold enough to ask whose interest is the government of Barbados serving?
Who are the technical advisors advising the government of Barbados and what do they stand to gain?
Is it true that the government EPD is in the dark about this project.
What about possible environmental fallout?
At what point will the ash which will be generated from this burning of garbage and ploughed into our soil reach a saturation point?
Accused of promoting fear, what about a possible contamination of our water supply by this ash, did I read dioxin is a by-product?
Do we note that accidents like oil spills and nuclear reactor accident are not suppose to happen just as the Titanic was not suppose to sink?
Hardly a week goes by without cries about rising prices. One writer having discovered some cheaper prices in Dominica accused local businessmen of greed, price gouging etc. It never dawned on the writer that the overall cost of doing business including labour cost is cheaper than in Barbados. The price of tropical fruits and locally grown products are significantly lower in Dominica, St Lucia and elsewhere than in Barbados where 2 limes or a single plantain cost $1. And the imported milk was said to be expensive and sub-standard. All this in a country with a year-round temperature of 75 plus degrees, where the only snow seen is on the television, and where even putting two tomato or pea plants and a goat in the backyard reflects low status.
Prices of oil, gasoline, food and other commodities have been rising everywhere in the last two years and will continue to rise. One is now hard-pressed to find anything for a single dollar in the North American Dollar Stores. More people are using public transportation and leaving their vehicles at home. The weatherman along with other factors wiped out coffee and cocoa crops in the largest producers Columbia and Ivory Coast. Soon you will have to go back to drinking bush tea. Of course it hasn’t dawned on anyone that coffee and cocoa could be grown there.
Cotton is out of the question. Cotton, indigo etc (not sugar) were the first crops grown there after 1629. They were inferior in quality and more expensive to those grown in Georgia and gave way to sugar. That situation remains unchanged today. There is artificial man-made cotton. We need to grow food which, among other things, will significantly reduce the import and foreign exchange bill. The sugar industry which was started by Colonel Drax at Drax Hall and Locust Hall ‘facilitated’ the arrival of Jews.