Barbados – Converting Waste to Energy

The Current Challenge

Barbados currently spends $850 million importing fossil fuels, which, as in so many other small island developing states, is considered extremely costly and unsustainable.

Waste and energy challenges facing the West Indies and Europe are challenging and using incineration and landfill are no longer satisfactory solutions.

As the waste levels and energy demands increase, incineration is ‘creaking at the seams’ to keep up with the demand of waste disposal especially in the light of landfill no longer being acceptable.

Power demands have also seen a dramatic increase and governments, not just in Europe or the Caribbean, are encouraging alternative and renewable power sources.

The Barbados Solution

The Government of Barbados has taken the lead in efforts to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

In May 2012, Barbados hosted the UN Development Program’s “Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in Small Island Developing States” conference in the capital Bridgetown, during which the country committed itself to the “Barbados Declaration” which agrees “to take actions toward providing universal access to energy, switching to renewable energy and reducing dependence on fossil fuels.”

During the UNDP conference, the Government of Barbados also committed the country to increasing renewable energy’s share of the island’s electricity capacity to 29% by 2029.

With 40,000 solar water heaters already installed on domestic and commercial buildings, Barbados has made efforts to achieve this target and already has the fifth highest penetration of solar water heaters in the world.

The Government has established incentives for suppliers of renewable energy to build on this platform:

Duty free concessions on renewable energy and energy efficient products.
Income tax benefits.

The Government of Barbados is aiming to achieve the targets set out in the “Barbados Declaration” ahead of time.
The Caribbean, and in particular Barbados, has set itself an objective to reduce its dependency on the importation of fuel oil needed to drive its power generation plants. The uptake of investment in renewable energies, particularly in the EU, is growing despite the recession, but there is a long way to go and plenty of opportunity for businesses who have available technologies which are proven and make a significant contribution to reducing hydrocarbon dependency and solving the burning question of what to do with waste.

Cahill Energy Limited will contribute to solving both the waste and energy security challenges that Barbados faces by financing and overseeing the construction and management of a Plasma Gasification plant using plasma technology in a specialized gasification system already proven and patented by Westinghouse Plasma Corporation.