Efforts are being made by the Trinidad & Tobago government to transition to a low carbon society. Minister of Housing and the Environment, Dr. Roodal Moonial has marked the integration of Solar Power into the local street lighting & Surveillance system (Police Surveillance Bays) as one of the stepping stones in reducing the country’s carbon foot-print.

It is hoped through this project that communities are encouraged to engage in similar energy conscious ventures on a smaller scale in order to incrementally change the island’s dependence on fossil fuels while making citizens more aware of the importance of clean energy in the of the country. This project will demonstrate the sustainable use of alternative energy in the form of solar power. Being primarily government-agency driven, this endeavor also demonstrates the leading role being taken by various governmental agencies in achieving sustainable use of the nation’s resources.

A similar initiative can easily be adopted in Barbados & other Caribbean countries as these solar modifications /upgrades require minimal disruption of any existing lighting /security systems and do not cause any significant environmental impacts. In addition, locations with deficient street lighting can easily be lit without affecting the grid.

This Trinidadian Street Light & Surveillance initiative entails the provision of solar powered street lights with the capacity to provide power to the surveillance cameras as well. To date, work has started on six Police Surveillance Bays on the Solomon Hochoy Highway. In addition, these six sites have also been fully equipped with solar powered signage, flashing amber lights and road pavement markers.

A major hurdle in the upgrade of these locations is the fact that these Police Surveillance Bays are all physically located on highway medians and thus extreme caution must be employed whilst conducting work at these locations. In addition, substantial traffic congestion and delays have been attributed to this novel work being done.

As quoted from Guardian media, ” The true value of this project is perhaps its ability to demonstrate to the national community the feasibility and benefits of employing renewable energy, in this case solar power, for novel applications.” Let’s hope that other countries are inspired to take on the challenge of becoming more proactive in the adoption of renewable energy technology.

Excerpts by:Guardian Media, Reducing the carbon footprint , May 31st 2012