Barbados Light and Power Net Income Up 48% In One Year – Yet Still No Investment In Alternative Energy Sources

Today our friends at Barbados Underground posted a strong case that the company that Barbados allows to have a monopoly over power has been irresponsibly gouging consumers while failing to make realistic changes for the country’s future.

Is it time to cut BL&P down to size through regulated pricing and government-mandated investment into new technologies?

If you want to have a monopoly on this island, you had better be responsible about it.

The government could start by forcing BL&P to purchase power from home-owners who make surplus through wind generation or solar panels – and then increase taxes on BL&P and use the money to crank up the incentives to homeowners to convert to alternative energy generation.

The nay-sayers might want to think about how many windmills we used to have all over Barbados. Only the technology has changed. The wind from Africa still blows as strong as ever…

Head on over to BU and read their excellent story: Barbados Light & Power & Stephen Worme Under The Microscope

37 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Energy, Environment, Technology

37 responses to “Barbados Light and Power Net Income Up 48% In One Year – Yet Still No Investment In Alternative Energy Sources

  1. crossroads

    Solar energy in more homes across barbados are long over due. Expensive to convert.. yes, however the long term benefits surpass the cost. BL&P must look to purchase the excess power from home owners.

  2. cable guy

    When I listen to Stephen Worme all I hear underneath his bland uninspiring words is how much money can we stuff into the owners of BL+P pockets. I have never heard anything from that man that inspires confidence that BL+P are seriously looking at alternative energy sources or making a concerted effort to get our electricity costs down. BL+P is simply another extension of the plantocracy.

  3. Hants

    Crossroads says “BL&P must look to purchase the excess power from home owners.”

    I think people should invest in Solar even if BL&P does not take the excess electricity.

    Prehaps people living in Townhouses or Houses close together should consider building solar units jointly.

    BL&P hates the idea because Solar will work very well in Barbados.

    I heard of a House in Barbados that the electricity bill has been reduced from $700 per month to $60 by using Solar.

    It is still connected to BL&P for emergency power probably to run medical equipment as it is the home and office of a doctor.

    It should de very easy to get financing from a Bank or Credit Union to convert to solar.
    Someone should “do the math” on this.Seems to me the savings could pay back a loan .

  4. NO MORE MARINAS EVER AGAIN

    Yet Still No Investment In Alternative Energy Sources and the reason why we can’t pay BL&P bills online?

  5. crossroads

    I agree Hants, however there would be a further saving to the end user if this option were available. Another option would be to store the extra power in batteries which might not be pratical.

  6. Anony

    I hope you all know to get BL&P to purchase power from home users is more difficult than you think. In order for a home to produce more power than it needs and upfront investment of more than $60 000 bds is required. How much folk out there have that amount of cash to invest?

  7. Turko

    Wind power is local and it is best suited to Barbados. It is simple and cost effective. (much better photovoltaic cells.) It work night and day. And there is no shortage of winds in Barbados. Go for it!

  8. 316.89

    Stop whining and complaining and waiting for someone(Gov’t? Bdos.Light & Power?) to do something for you.
    What are you? Socialist mentality?
    Need someone to look after you from the cradle to the grave?
    Haven’t we evolved past that 1830s Marxist rubbish?

    Go out and buy the necessary wind-power and/or photo-voltaic materiel and get started on your own project!

    If you want something done right
    DO IT YOURSELF!

  9. Kay

    Turko,
    Check out cnnmoney.com for an article titled
    Wind power: a reality check.

  10. @Kay… Your point would be what, exactly?

    The CNN article is written within the context of a country which has indigenous energy reserves (and many entrenched industries which are making serious coin leveraging on same). And even there, renewable energy solutions now make economic sense — the only debate is the timeline of the required investment and deployment of the kit.

    Barbados (effectively) does not have its own reserves. We *may* find offshore oil, but the time horizon on that is a good five to ten years. And even if it is found, it is (by definition) a finite supply.

    What do we sell to our tourists? Sun, Sand and Surf. Two of these can be used to generate electricity….

  11. Kay

    What I find interesting is that
    1. no one system is the answer, they all have their good and bad points.
    2. therefore it is probably a good idea to hedge your bets. i.e. if some people go for solar and some go for wind and yet others put biogas production into effect.
    Not one of these systems may be able to completely replace the current diesel plants but altogether they would reduce our dependance on oil. We are after all blessed with the sun and the wind, ( and judging by some of the comments that you hear and read, alot of “natural” gas.)

  12. Andre

    One of the main problems for Barbados is a lack of available space, most large scale alternative energy projects require a lot of space. However many countries are opting for off shore wind power.

    1. Offshore wind energy on the north, east and/or south coasts. Does anyone know how these things stand up to hurricane force winds?
    2. Encourage people to purchase plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles. Tax breaks for these alternatives and tax increases on the gas guzzlers.

    If T. Boone Pickens can support wind energy there must be something there.

    Check out:
    http://www.pickensplan.com/

  13. Wry Mongoose

    BL&P must be encouraged to purchase excess energy created by homeowners – especially in the case of photovoltaic power.

    Reversible meters would preclude the need for homeowners to purchase batteries for storage of energy i.e. they become ‘collectors-only’.

    Since batteries are the most expensive part of the installation, many more Bajans would thus be able to participate.

  14. Wry Mongoose

    Here is another idea – convert the millions of kilojoules of energy stored in obese Bajans fat cells into electricity by creating a mass free spin-class, where all the bikes are connected to a turbine/reversible meter.

    A good location would be under a large shed roof on an open lot near the Wildey Gymnasium.

    Each bike could be monitored by a central PC that would show how much KJ the rider had sent back to the grid – and they could be compensated in the form of Magna points or a similar reward regime.

    We would be tapping a totally renewable resource, providing free gymnasia, reducing obesity … and closing the loop on all of that greasy macaroni pie consumed nationally!

  15. TechNO

    Re. “What I find interesting is that
    1. no one system is the answer”

    This has been identified as a human psychological problem
    in our efforts to replace our global energy-base.

    For the last 100 yrs. or so OIL has produced our energy
    (OK.. Coal had a small share too)
    but basically, it’s been OIL all the way, with some Nuke,too..

    And so we are ‘human’ to seek a one-stop solution to replace Oil wholesale
    but it’s not going to happen that way.

    Like modifying a car engine for rallying,
    we gain our increases a little here
    – a little there.

    So WIND will make 20%,
    SOLAR will make another 20%
    WAVEpower another contribution, and so on…to achieve the replacement or supplement.

    —————————–
    SHIPS need to go nuclear-powered on a big scale.
    If the Navies can do it, so can cargo carriers and cruise-ships.

    Aircraft CANNOT go nuclear-powered…that’s been tried and proven not to work
    (safety shielding simply too heavy to be practical)
    —————————–

    Incidentally, in the course of a conversation with a knowledgeable type, he shocked me with the news that today’s photo-voltaic cells are horribly in-efficient….something like 7% efficient.
    Dat en sayin much, is it?!

    Dear me…if only we’d put all that Bomb-perfecting money and technology into SOLAR and making decent BATTERIES
    we mightn’t be in such a pickle today.

    Instead we now have gorgeous,effective bombs(almost completely useless
    but give Geo.W. a chance, Nov. en reach yet!)
    and grossly inefficient solar conversion cells,instead!

    MAN..the priorities suck,don’t they?

  16. Straight talk

    The only constant, reliable and renewable energy source immediately available to us are tidal/wave generators.

    Wind and photo-voltaic require back-up.

    Infra red PV which operate 24/7 are still in the development stage, but showing real promise as a permanent solution for small island states.

    It would help our discussion if Mr Worme could pop back out of his hole and tell us what the average hourly demand is in Barbados, and when are the peaks and troughs.

    He seems to have been gagged once Bajans seriously began discussing alternative generation.

  17. @Straight talk…

    “Infra red PV which operate 24/7 are still in the development stage, but showing real promise as a permanent solution for small island states.”

    What the *hell* are you talking about?

    IR is *heat*. I personally don’t know of any PV systems which absorbs IR at any sort of economical level. I would bet a dollar that it won’t ever be possible. I would bet a hundred dollars that it won’t be possible in 100 years…

    Would you care to support your above statement with some recommended Google searches?

  18. Straight talk

    Just google it, Chris.

    I’m no promoter, but this method may be the way forward, and probably more universally effective than a solar tower, as it will do away with the need for backup batteries.

    Test models are achieving 12% efficiency in converting background infra red radiation into electrical energy.

    That is free energy regardless of the sun shining or not, day and night.

    Sounds promising to me.

  19. @Straight Talk…

    Please forgive me, but you’re talking complete bull sh1t!!! IR is by definition low energy…

    You would have better luck collecting energy from residual IR by putting out large bottles of water. Or, better yet, leveraging on the thermal deltas in the oceans…

    I *have* done the “Googles”, and the only thing I’ve found of value is technology which captures the residuals of daylight collection.

    But 24/7? Give me (us) a break….

  20. Montezuma

    Chris, infrared is not “heat” the effect of infrared is heat. Heat is essetially the vibration of molecules. Where as infrared is a part of the light spectrum, a pretty wide spectrum relative to visible light. But of course you (should) already know this.

    “Straight Talk” is correct, using the infrared spectrum is being investigated.

  21. @Montezuma: yes IR is the light spectrum of heat. Let’s assume this is a given… (Would you like to enter into a debate with regards to the QED of same? I’m personally happy, and able, to do so…)

    My point is simply, can anyone share with us here any commercially viable systems whereby IR radiation is collected by way of PV during the evening? Or is the claim simply bull shit?

    All I’m asking for is some Google searches of relevance… You know, something one can purchase with a proforma invoice….

  22. Montezuma

    Chris, if there is one thing that science and engineering has taught us is that “never say never”.

    As an engineer I can tell you that it is incredible the creativity and inventiness wrapped up in this thing we call the human being.

    Everything that can be invented has been invented.
    – Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. patent office, 1899

    Boy was he _ever_ wrong!

    Or what about this fellow:

    “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”
    – Lord Kelvin

  23. For the record…

    Have you noticed that no other posters have responded to my immediate above?… Admittedly, this could be because of moderation by BFP…

    But, assuming this is not the case… Please note that suddenly several unknown or irregular posters appeared: “Montezuma”, “TechNO”, “Wry Mongoose”, “316.89”, “Andre”, “Turko”, “Anony” and “Kay”. And let us, of course, not leave out “Straight talk”.

    Most of these brought forward statements which didn’t contribute to the argument before us, but instead distracted from same… Introducing Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD).

    Think about this… There is *downside* to anonymous submissions to this Blog… Further, think about why some might wish to introduce distractionary comments here…

    May we live in interesting times… As we obviously do….

    Kindest regards to all.

  24. @Montezuma…

    Sweet… Care to speak to my above?

    You know, providing arguments *for* viable and proven solution spaces, instead of arguing that some stupid solution space *might* be possible?

    Again, you know, something one might purchase *today* would be great, thanks…

    (Not wishing to put you out….)

  25. @Montezuma… OK… Let’s do this… You say “if there is one thing that science and engineering has taught us is that ‘never say never’…

    I challenge you to accomplish the following:

    1. Take a liter of water, and accelerate it to the speed of light…

    2. Take a liter of water, and power a car on it for 100 kms…

    3. Take a liter of water, and turn it into gold…

    Science and Engineering have taught us that some things are *impossible*. We have learnt to *deal* with this…

    Kindest regards to all….

  26. Straight talk

    Chris Halsall:

    This is a blog where snippets of interest, previously not discussed, are usually welcomed, and, if needs be, dismissed courteously as impractical.

    Loudmouthed wannabe polymaths tend to disrupt the usual banter.

    In the same way as you promote experimental solar towers, I never claimed a commercial IRPV product in my previous posts, only that developmental work was ongoing and showing promise.

    FYFI google Professor Ted Sargent at the University of Toronto.
    Email him and say you think he is wasting his time on a bullshit project.

    Sweet dreams.

  27. Kay

    Ok back to the origional post, the article I mentioned plus many others that I have read often point to the fact that many of the people promoting alternative energy now have already made millions if not billions in oil or electricity. Somehow the suggestion seems to be that these people are just in the new technologies and in some cases have held them back until now because of the profits involved. They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t! Maybe that is why some don’t.

  28. Kay

    Wry Mongoose
    Love your free spin class idea.
    Chris Halsall
    I believe we are contributing to “Barbados Freepress” so on behalf of the unknown and irregular posters you mentioned in a previous post I apologise if you find our posts distracting. Tough.

  29. Hants

    Chris Halsall says “Please note that suddenly several unknown or irregular posters appeared: “Montezuma”, “TechNO”, “Wry Mongoose”, “316.89″, “Andre”, “Turko”, “Anony” and “Kay”. And let us, of course, not leave out “Straight talk”.

    I have been blogging on BFP for about 2 years and it has always been open and welcoming to all except those few who make criminal threats and use profanity.

    I hope I speak for other BFP “family” members when I say unknown or irregular posters are most welcome.

  30. @Straight talk… What I was taking exception to in your post was the claim that PV systems could be used to generate electricity by way of IR at night.

    This *can’t* work. There is not enough flux, AKA energy delta.

    Professor Ted Sargent’s (and many others’) work involves harnessing IR (and all the other present frequencies) during the *day*. As you can see from his site, his only mention of IR at night is for *imaging*.

    @Hants… my point about the sudden appearance of new posters was meant to point out that when there’s money involved, suddenly people show up — many introducing confusion.

    This, in my mind, is one of the downsides to anonymous blogging — you never know the true agenda of the “speakers”.

  31. Bush tea

    Straight Talk

    …what I told you about egomaniac bloggers who use their own name to try to build a reputation as ‘somebody’?
    ….best ignored…

    …anyway you dealt with the bombastic arrogance most effectively…

  32. @Bush Tea & Straight Talk, et al.

    Funny…

    I’ve now been accused, on this single Blog, of being a “loudmouthed wannabe polymath” and being “bombastic”…

    Gosh. All just because I read a lot, have a good memory, understand the maths, and dare to ca11 bu11sh17 when 1 see 17…

    R0ck 0n… (L0L)….

  33. Kay

    No Chris, all because you put the et al’s down as being unknown and irregular posters who were just distracting and introducing FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt).Oh, and not contributing to the argument before us.

  34. @Kay…

    I will accept and concede your immediate above, within limits…

    However, I would argue that my above still stands… (But then, I would be expected to, wouldn’t I?) (Grin…)

  35. Turko

    Heh, I visited Barbados once and I posted twice on this blog and each time on wind power.

    Please see http://www.windfinder.com/windstats/windstatistic_silver_sands.htm
    and http://www.windfinder.com/forecast/silver_sands
    to see that you have consistent winds 365/24. (the Trade winds)

  36. Lani Edghill

    In the face of global climate change and ecological degradation the world is responding by converting to a green economy. Some economists are beginning to understand that market forces do not drive this change but gorvernment policy does. If the government enacted policy that would fund incentive programs for people to invest in alternative sources of ebergy we could all be pumping energy into the grid using our islands bountiful infinite resources of wind and solar.

    dont forget the existing ancient wind power infrustructure that we already have in place on the island!