THE REAL ESTATE sector “has the potential” to lead the charge towards increased renewable energy development in Barbados, says a former Government energy advisor.
David Staples, who is a director of Williams Industries Inc., said while it was not “the panacea some thinking it to be”, the time “has arrived for renewable energy, despite some manageable bumps ahead in the road, especially for Barbados, which lies in the best part of the world’s sunbelt”.
Writing in the new edition of real estate company Terra Caribbean’s annual publication The Red Book, Staples said: “It makes sense that the real estate sector, both residential and commercial, has the potential to be a major agent in this conversion. Solar generated electricity can be safely and easily produced right where the demand for electricity occurs; underneath the very roofs to which the photovoltaic (PV) panels are attached.
“PV panels not only convert direct sunlight into electricity, but have minimum maintenance, a lifespan of 25 to 35 years and no moving parts. Imagine 20 000 homes and buildings with PV panels could produce almost 30 per cent of the nation’s electricity.”
Staples, who is also president of Fairway Developments Limited, William Industries’ project development arm, said considering the above benefits, and others, it was “not the time for caution”.
“The Barbados Government has established a goal of 29 per cent of national power from renewable energy by 2026.
“Real estate in Barbados is leading the renewable energy revolution.
“Thousands of individuals deciding to make the decision to install PV systems on their homes and businesses will be key to making this revolution last,” he said.
“With their low maintenance, long life and free energy after the payback period, they are perhaps the best investment in your home or company.
“On a macro level, it makes financial and economic sense for the country. Not only can Barbados be a regional pace-setter, but a world leader in renewable energy.” (SC)