Emerging Green Technologies on Spotlight in Cleantech Sector Dialogues

The CleanTech Cluster Barbados (BLOOM) in conjunction with Atom Solutions Incorporated, provided new insights into Green Emerging Technologies on 25 November 2021, as part of a national effort to promote Clean Technology in Barbados, as the country seeks to become the most advanced green circular economy in the Caribbean and Latin America by 2025.

BLOOM is a sustainable energy and climate technology (CleanTech) cluster hosted by the Export Barbados (BIDC). It was created through a partnership with the Ministry of International Business and Industry (MIBI) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which is providing technical assistance.

With greater focus being placed worldwide on products, services and processes which can improve energy efficiency, while reducing negative environmental impacts, Barbados is getting involved in that revolution. As part of that effort, BLOOM and Atom Solutions Inc. hosted a three-part series of online dialogues on 24-26 November 2021 to connect stakeholders, existing and potential, with the information they require to successfully operate in the sector.

The second webinar took place on Thursday, November 25, bringing together a team of experts to examine issues related to the advantages of digitalization in fostering Green Economy, the use of biofuels in transportation and development of large-scale RE utility projects in Solar PV and Wind Power. Participants attending this session were able to hear about the work of the Ministry of Innovation, Science and New Technology on digitalization of public sector services, new solar and wind power projects initiated by Barbados National Oil Corporation Limited (BNOCL) and how to manufacture biofuels by utilizing rum distillery waste (University of West Indies), and how their work could potentially advance the utilization of new and emerging green technologies in Barbados.

Addressing the forum, Director of Science, Market Research and Innovation at MIST Charles Cyrus, painted a picture of how the use of digital technologies has been accelerated across the country, particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Cyrus also noted what further steps are needed, in both the public and private sectors, to advance their use even more.

“We know that there are significant benefits to the use of ICTs or digital technologies for increasing productivity, maintaining the competitiveness of your business or operations, improving customer service and interactions between firms and the various stakeholders. And the last one, this is a very big one, ICTs assist in forcing innovation,” Mr. Cyrus indicated.

The Director of Science, Market Research and Innovation, referred to some of the major Government-led digital technology projects, including the digitalization and consolidation of ICT infrastructure; the upgrading of government data centre; and the soon to be rolled out national digital identification card. He described the latter as a “big project” that will have a transformative effect on how people do business with the Government, which will improve service delivery in the public sector, and is critical to the modernization of the public sector and Barbados in general.

On the matter of energy production, the presentation from the Operations Manager of BNOCL, Terrence Straughn highlighted what steps were being taken by the state-owned oil company to make greater use of renewable energy to help meet the various energy needs of the country.

Mr. Straughn stated, “We are deploying a 4.1 megawatt system throughout the Woodbourne oilfields, and we actually have another system coming online in probably next two years, which is going to be located at the BNTCL [Barbados National Terminal Company Limited]. In Wind Power, we are planning up to 10 MW capacity in the future, both onshore and offshore wind. We are currently in the process of carrying out a wind power feasibility study to identify suitable locations”.

The BNOCL’s Operations Manager, also indicated that consideration is being given to using clean energy solutions such as biogas, green hydrogen, and methane batteries, among others.

Mr. Straughn continued, “We have a potential in the next 12 months, for about 15 projects coming on stream, and in terms of our commercial projects that will total capacity approximately 10 MW or so that we will be introducing to the grid”.

Thursday’s session also featured presentations from lecturer at the Cave Hill Campus, Dr. Legena Henry and recent graduate, Karyl Pivott on research done at the University of West Indies in biofuels and biomethane by utilizing rum distillery waste as a raw material. The online event concluded with a discussion on RE, led by Jerry Franklin, former President of BREA and Destine Gay of the Ministry of Energy.

Dialogue 2 audio recording on Emerging Green Technologies is available here