BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (GIS) – Delivering the keynote address, at the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s second annual Green and Renewable Energy Expo, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, senator Cummins stated: “Barbados must have the flagship piece of energy supply legislation, not just in the region, [but] in the world, by the middle of 2024. It is our intention to take that legislation to parliament and to begin the process of creating a new macro framework that is legislated for a new look energy sector….”
Stressing that the ministry and government were committed to leading in the area of democratisation of energy supply, she noted that stakeholders and the public were given an opportunity to review, comment on, and submit their views on the draft Electricity Supply Bill, senator Cummins said the current model had been a challenge to the utility company, and a drag on the wider economy.
“We have to be in a position to ensure that we have an internal energy market that works for renewables. We have to have an energy market and an energy grid that is fit for renewables and not the other way around. Our market has to be designed and redesigned to fully integrate renewables into the wider electricity market and remove the existing barriers that we can see, feel, and experience.
“As the next step on this trajectory, I wish to share that on the 19 of February, we will begin broader consultations on the Electricity Supply Act, and we will open that to wider consultations, so we are in a position to receive comments from everyone who has an interest in so doing. […] It allows for us to have a conversation in this country for the first time around concepts like microgrids, that is embedded in the legislation…,” senator Cummins outlined.
During the address, she told her audience that the gap between policy and regulation must be closed, and gave the assurance that her ministry would be working through it.
Senator Cummins said an Energy Transition Investment Plan had been developed and the Integrated Resource and Resilience Plan (IRRP) had been amended.
“I now have in hand the final version…which will now be the 2024 (IRRP), because I have asked for two smaller revisions for the benefit of people who are non-technical to be included in the documentation. But we now have, and I expect to be in a position to take to Cabinet, in the next couple of weeks, a new Energy Transition Investment Plan and a new IRRP.
“Those are the policy frameworks that will guide our sector; those are the things that sit at the…macro level that then determine where we go next,” the minister explained, commending the financial institutions for their commitment to and investment in the renewable energy sector.