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Paragraphs Related to the Theme Paragraphs VII Summit
Reports
Date:  12/18/2015 
The Government of Barbados is committed to promoting sustainable energy practices both on the supply side, mainly using renewable energy sources and on the demand side, by encouraging energy efficiency and energy conservation as a means to reduce the country’s dependency on fossil fuels, enhance security and stability in energy supply, improve the economy’s competitiveness and achieve greater environmental sustainability.
One of the major challenges faced by Barbados is its too high dependency on fossil fuels which risks undermining the country’s competitiveness and its economic and social development. A significant percentage of the country’s electricity generation is fossil-fuel based. Power generation represents the main use of fuel in the country (50%) followed by transport (33%). Barbados produces some oil through the state-owned Barbados National Oil Co., but domestic demand (10,000 barrels per day) greatly exceeds local supply (less than 800 barrels per day). During the period 2003-2013, Barbados’ average annual fuel import bill stood at BBD$542.306 million which was in excess of 7% of GDP. The importation of petroleum products therefore represents a significant expenditure and drain on Barbados’ foreign exchange reserves.
The Government’s energy policy therefore seeks to increase the share of economically viable renewable energy in Barbados’ energy mix and to achieve savings in the country’s consumption of electricity as well as efficiency in the use of non-electric energy use especially in transportation.
Structural reforms in the energy sector are being undertaken as part of a broader exercise within the Government’s Barbados Growth and Development Strategy. It is also being done within the context of the country’s effort to transition to a Green Economy. One of the driving forces in establishing a Green Economy is the Government’s desire to reduce the importation of fossil fuels.
Barbados will attempt to replicate with other renewable energy systems what the country has achieved successfully with solar water heaters. Barbados has the fifth highest penetration of solar water heaters in the world of over 33%.
In an effort to support renewable energy and energy efficiency as one of the engines of the economy, the Government has established an extensive system of tax and other concessions. The Government is further seeking to restructure the economy, in part through the development of new technical skills in this area with a view to creating hundreds of “green jobs”.
In a land scarce country fortunate to enjoy a tropical climate all year round, there has been the thrust to facilitate the erection of solar electricity systems on the roofs of commercial and government buildings and houses. This initiative has resulted in a multitude of projects which will provide public buildings including schools, polyclinics, community centres, police stations and fire stations with solar photovoltaic systems. Some of these systems are intended to provide emergency power during disasters to assist the country in disaster risk management.
The Government has not limited itself to generating electricity from the sun alone, but is pursuing a diversified energy mix in the transformation to a green economy. The roadmap comprises projects which include the construction of a waste to energy plant as well as the conversion of biomass into electricity at a sugar factory.
Other projects and programmes currently in progress include the exploration of the use of ocean energy for power generation, the procurement of electric vehicles, the distribution of energy efficient lights for households, the retrofitting of Government buildings with LED lights in addition to the replacement of the over 25,000 streetlights with LED lights. A National Sustainable Energy Policy and Road Map for the energy sector will also be completed in 2016.
Furthermore, a new regulatory regime has been established in the form of the Electric Light and Power Act to facilitate the sale of electricity to the grid from renewable energy resources. The electric grid currently has an estimated cumulative installed capacity of approximately 9 Megawatts of intermittent renewable energy (mainly solar electricity systems) with another 11 Megawatts pending from independent power producers (IPPs). The utility is also in the process of establishing a 10 Megawatt solar photovoltaic farm.
In lending assistance to the private sector, Government has established a low interest fund to provide financial and technical support for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
These initiatives are all being undertaken within a comprehensive public awareness programme of the promotion of renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy conservation in the island.
Against this background, Barbados has established a new target of 50% of power generation to be derived from renewable energy by 2020 and a current target of 22% increase in energy efficiency by 2020.
Paragraphs: 5 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  12/18/2015 
In the mid to late 1990s, it became evident to Government that in view of the rapid developments in the telecommunications industry, including Barbados’ commitment in 1997 on telecommunications under the World Trade Organization General Agreement on Trade in Services, Barbados had to reform its telecommunications legal and regulatory framework.
Consequently, in December 2000, the Government of Barbados, in its Green Paper on Telecommunications Sector Policy, identified the overall policy objectives as follows:
- providing access for customers to basic telecommunications services in accordance with Universal Service Obligations;
- establishing competitive telecommunications prices;
- promoting state-of-the-art telecommunications technology which facilitate the provision of services comparable to those offered in developed countries;
- encouraging continued investment by offering a reasonable rate of return to investors;
- providing a reasonable and equitable basis for new telecommunications service providers to be able to enter the market and in the long-term thus allowing competitive market forces to assist in price setting and regulation; and
- promoting a more efficient and responsive regulatory environment for communication services.

These policy objectives form the basis for the establishment of the (current) Telecommunications Act which replaced the 1991 Telecommunications Act. The current Telecommunications Act was established:
“to ensure inter alia
(a) the establishment of a framework for authorising the ownership and operation of telecommunications networks;
(b) the provision of telecommunications services on a competitive basis allowing the widest possible access to those services at an affordable rate;

(c) the prevention of unfair competitive practices by carriers and service providers in the management of telecommunications under this Act, the Fair Trading Commission Act and the Utilities Regulations Act; and

(d) the overall development of telecommunications in the interest of the sustainable development of Barbados, taking into account the introduction of advanced telecommunications technologies and an increased range of services and the preservation of public interest and national security.”

The establishment of the Telecommunications Act signalled the start of the implementation of the sector liberalization process, during which four (4) Mobile Telecommunications licences were issued, five (5) International Telecommunications licences, three (3) Domestic Telecommunications licences, seven (7) Internet Service Provider licences and many other smaller (value-added) categories. However, due to certain forces including market forces, the sector is going through a consolidation phase, which has accelerated in the last twenty months.
In approximately two years, the sector has seen the fixed (Domestic and International) telecommunications market effectively moving from five (5) competitors (LIME, Columbus, Telebarbados, Karib Cable and Digicel) to three (3) (LIME, Columbus and Digicel). However, following the acquisition of Columbus by Cable & Wireless Communications, the market now has two players, Cable & Wireless (Barbados) Ltd. and Digicel.
Ever since full liberalization of the telecommunications sector, Barbados has witnessed dramatic growth in its telecommunications and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services sector. Indeed in the recently published International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) 2015 edition of the “Measuring the Information Society” report, which publishes the annual ICT Development Index (IDI), Barbados is ranked 3rd behind the USA and Canada in the Americas and 29th in the World. Also, it should be noted that Barbados has significantly improved its IDI score from 6.04 in 2010 to 7.57 in 2015. Below are some key indicators that reflect the status of the Barbados Telecommunications/ICT landscape and status.
- Island-wide 4G Mobile networks with plans to establish LTE networks in the coming months.
- Fiber Optic Network(s) that practically cover the entire island.
- 327,090 mobile subscribers (greater than 100% penetration).
- 77,158 Broadband subscribers.
- 135,775 Landlines.
- 16 FM radio stations.
Paragraphs: 7 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

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