CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (November 08, 2010) — Green Technology has the potential to revolutionise life in the Caribbean on a daily basis, in the same way information technology had.
That view was expressed by Minister responsible for Environment and Renewable Energy on Nevis Hon. Carlisle Powell, at the International Business Week Conference of the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) in Barbados on Friday October 29, 2010.
In his presentation the Minister told Barbados Businessmen that the technology encompassed an evolving group of methods and materials from techniques, for the generation of energy, to non toxic cleaning products.
“As we look at emerging green technology, I will focus on some of the areas which involve the generation of energy. I do so because our energy needs will demand significant investments in the near term.
“Green energy refers to any form of energy that is carbon neutral, renewable and sustainable. So these include but are not limited to Hydro, Ocean Thermal, Geothermal, Wind and Clean coal technology,” he said.
He pointed to green technologies which had practical economic uses in Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean. Among them was solar energy, which he explained could provide electricity, water heating and street lights.
“Solar is an obvious standout example. Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean must make a greater effort to maximise the many advantages afforded us by our sunny climate…
“While countries with three and six hours of sunlight per day are using solar street lights, we in the Caribbean with an average of 12 hours of sunlight continue our heavy reliance on street lights that depend on traditional fossil fuel power…It is important that we make an effort to attract investment into this potentially profitable business of providing solar lights,” he said.
Mr. Powell also explored the possibility of investments in energy efficient homes which would make maximum use of natural light and thereby reduce the region’s dependence on artificial light.
He said Barbados had done exceptionally well with the promotion of solar water heaters but challenged the businessmen to expand beyond that and find ways to store energy generated by an average of 12 hours of sunlight per day and use it to light homes.
According to Mr. Powell, hotels and businesses in the Caribbean repeatedly argued that cooling/air conditioning, lighting and the provision of hot water remained among their biggest expenses.
“It is therefore imperative, that we invest in new technology that incorporates the water heater and air conditioning unit. Let us also embrace heat recovery units so that waste heat from our power plants and our large air conditioning units can be a power source,” he said.