Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Region prime for renewable energy

THIS region is wide open to explore renewable energy opportunities, says United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Stephen O’Malley.

Lauding the thousands of Barbadians who have installed solar water heaters on their homes, he said more can be done to make better use of renewable energy in Barbados and across the Caribbean.

“There is the question of wind power. On other islands you have the possibility of hydroelectric power or geothermal, for example. So there I think the whole area of renewable energy has some real possibilities for the region to take full advantage of, which could also have significant economic benefits as well,” he asserted.

He noted that the UNDP had already put in place a small grants programme, which allows community-level organisations to look at what could be done relating to renewable energy.

“We have also assisted with a number of feasibility studies and to help the governments of the region to do these. We have a very wide network of experts on renewable energy that we also bring to bear and what we are trying to do is make available to the countries of the region, the best available expertise so that they could design the right programmes for themselves. We have also undertaken efforts to promote and expand the knowledge of renewable energy so that citizens can become involved. It is not just an area for governments to set up policies, although that is very important.

“So these are things where concretely we have been engaged in and supporting government’s policy,” he said. (JMB)

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