Background to Presentation
For the past 3 years, the Ministry of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s Energy Division has been focused on championing the Barbados National Energy Policy (BNEP). The objective of the policy is to ensure Barbados will be 100% powered by renewable energy by 2030.
An integral part of the roll-out has seen the Energy Division develop a road map of actions that include the retrofitting of Government buildings with renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. This process has seen approximately eighty-five percent (85%) of Barbados’ public street lights with energy efficient technologies, and a fleet of government electric vehicles.
The Energy Division team is now focusing on working towards making our buildings energy efficient. The Division undertook energy audits of fifteen government buildings that are been used for the procurement of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Some of these technologies include energy efficient air conditioners, LED lighting and even solar panels for electricity generation. To date under the Public Sector Smart Energy Programme (PSSEP) the Ministry of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship has installed 2.46 MW of solar energy in public buildings, leading not only the way in the usage of renewable energy in the public sector, but also helping the institutions save money in their monthly electric bill.
Launch of Energy Champion Building Campaign - Samuel Jackman Polytechnic Institute (SJPI)
The Ministry of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship is continuing to lead with a campaign to encourage Barbadians to become Energy Champions and assist in making the country self-sufficient in this area. This challenge was taken up by the SJPI, which is an official pilot building for this initiative. The SJPI has been a beneficiary under the PSSEP and has benefitted from the installation of 103 kW solar photovoltaic system which offsets its electricity costs by producing energy from sunlight. The SJPI also retrofitted their buildings to be more energy efficient in various ways, such as investing in inverter type air-conditioners that consume less power. These initiatives have led to savings of over $50,000 per year in electricity costs from using solar photovoltaics and over $60,000 per year from ongoing energy conservation efforts.
In addition to saving energy at the institution, the SJPI is contributing to energy efficiency at the national level by training Barbadians to work with smart energy technology. They currently offer several clean energy related courses, including photovoltaic installations, maintenance of electric and hybrid vehicles, wind energy, and energy auditing.
For these reasons, The Energy Division in the Ministry of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship has designated the SJPI as an Energy Champion Building. They are the first institution to receive this prestigious title. A 39-foot-wide sign will be installed on one of SJPI’s buildings to highlight this accomplishment.