ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The UPP government bared its “green” aspirations – revealing it would offer incentives to residents that utilise renewable energy.
In a bid to decrease Antigua & Barbuda’s reliance on fossil fuels, MP for St John’s Rural West, Baldwin Spencer, during his Budget debate on Friday, said 15 per cent of the Antigua Public Utilities Authority’s (APUA) feeder systems would now be generated from “local renewable sources.”
Pursuant to the National Energy Policy, the prime minister said residents would be able to “interconnect” their renewable energy system – either solar or wind – to APUA’s utility grid.
Each consumer is given the option of connecting up to 50-kilowatt hours of energy to the grid, starting “today.”
“We are giving people the opportunity, and in addition to that, we have incentivised anybody who is willing to be involved in that, whether an individual or a company,” Spencer said.
However, the prime minister did not describe how the programme would be incentivised in practice.
Thirty persons have currently been trained to interconnect customer systems to the APUA grid in a “safe and efficient” manner.
Spencer said government itself was attempting to go green during his presentation on the Parliament floor, noting the ministries of education and tourism are preparing to receive solar panels – courtesy the governments of Austria and Germany.
Similar plans are in the works for a pilot programme in Shirley Heights and Mount St John’s Medical Centre.
Although plans are not finalised, the prime minister said government is “exploring” the possibility of running part of the new airport terminal with solar energy.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)