Barbados’ green economy has been increasingly talked about in recent years. Specifically in 2011 and 2012 when the global markets for wind and solar energy have become highly publicised, the concept of “going green” has become an increasingly popular household word as well as a word of reference for corporate entities.

In Barbados the Green Economy means sustainable development, improving energy efficiency at facilities and operations, and maintianing our environment for future generations. The Barbados government has shown great interest in the Green Economy for several years. It has developed a solar water heating industry that has been recognised regionally and globally. Lionel Weeks in the Ministry of the Environment speaking in July 2010 at a United Nations conference on Trade and Development acknowledged that more had to be done with solar than heating water.

We have recently seen locally owned Williams Industries make the transition by forming Williams Evergreen and installing $12 Million dollars worth of solar panels on the roofs of its various facilities across the island, including the SBRC at Vaucluse, Structural Systems and BRC warehouses.

“The solar industry has done well” he said, “but it needs to move another step.”

The opportunity exists for Government to expand solar energy applications to a wider area. The switch to a Green Economy will require a change in attitudes on multiple social and political levels, as well as more regulation and money will need to be spent now to reep the returns in the long run.

A Green Economy can benefit the education system in Barbados where the University of the West Indies is now offering courses specifically in renewable energy applications starting in September 2012. The Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic has an opportunity to follow suit.

Minister of Water Resources Dr David Estwick, while serving as Minister of Economic Affairs in 2010 told the Barbados Network Consultation that Government was determined to succeed at wind farming, producing alternative and renewable energy, converting waste to energy, and solar electricity.

Barbados has an abundance of sunlight and consistent wind and there is a need for its powers to institute tools for its households and businesses to maintain our environment through sustainable living.