SAN JUAN – Barbados’ government said Friday it will receive additional support from Sweden for its green energy initiatives and also could become the site of a regional renewable energy center.
In a statement, Bridgetown said Sweden’s ambassador to the island, Claes Hammar, held a meeting in February with Barbados’ foreign minister, Sen. Maxine McLean, to discuss sustainable development proposals.
The Swedish Energy Agency, according to Hammar, has partnered with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization for a study of the energy sector challenges facing four Caribbean islands: Barbados, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica.
“It’s about providing a bit of resistance for energy systems. I’m very happy Barbados is one of the four countries. There is no commercial intent from our side. It is mainly to see what can be done to create more resilience and that’s the main focus,” Hammar said.
The agency will provide support and “strengthen the energy system” of these islands.
The Swedish ambassador also expressed support for Barbados’ bid to become the site for a planned Caribbean Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.
“It would be good if the center was established here, with Barbados being one of the four countries we would be working with. That would give impetus to the study,” he said.
McLean acknowledged that the center idea is “very important.”
“I know there was strong sentiment towards having it located here and we have been doing quite a bit of work in renewable energy, both at the level of government and private-sector initiatives,” the foreign minister said.
McLean added that the Barbados government is providing support for many ambitious projects in the area of solar energy consumption on the island.
“Hammar lauded the efforts and urged Barbados to put forward proposals for funding from Sweden, bearing in mind that his country was also a signatory to other agencies, including the Global Environment Facility in Washington,” the Barbadian government said.