Barbados is to benefit from a US$17 million loan from the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) for its public sector smart energy programme.
The Washington-based financial institution said that the programme's resources are expected to be supplemented with a grant from a US$7.6 million grant from the European Union, the first such facility to be made by the EU under a framework agreement with the IDB.
The IDB said the Public Sector Smart Energy programme, which will implement renewable energy solutions and energy efficiency and conservation measures by government agencies, complements a broad range of policies, programs and actions Barbados is adopting to cut energy costs and reduce its dependence on imported fuel.
Additionally, an Energy Smart Fund for the private sector is currently in operation, targeting small and business enterprises, including hotels, to facilitate the purchase of renewable energy and energy efficiency equipment, it said.
“Both the private and public sectors of the country will be actively contributing to the achievement of the overall objective of reducing the country”s fossil fuel dependency,Ó said Christiaan Gischler, IDB team leader of the Barbados’ Public Sector Smart Energy programme.
The IDB said nearly 90 per cent of the energy consumed in Barbados comes from imported oil. According to government data, the fuel import bill is about six per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is equivalent to the country’s spending on education.