Slowly, the global cry for the world to become more ‘green’ in terms of energy consumption is being heard. Scientists, businesses and schools are pooling together to make this vision a reality by implementing what was once thought to be impossible – Photovoltaic Energy. Known by most as Solar Power, it is the ability of producing a voltage usually through photo-emission, when exposed to radiant energy, especially light.
Photovoltaic (PV) Demonstration was a pilot project concerned with the production of electric current caused by electromagnetic radiation. The ‘Green Initiative’ of solar power, produces an electric current or voltage caused by electromagnetic radiation, (especially visible light from the sun), fueling the rapid deployment of renewable energy to help regain our energy independence and fight climate change.
Saint Lucia took the bold step of endeavoring to become the world’s first sustainable energy country. The plan aimed to effect a 15% reduction in projected peak demand and installed capacity by 2010, significantly reducing the high cost of water heating for both the residential and commercial sectors. The tax concessions have been introduced to combat the high initial costs of solar water heaters. Solar photovoltaic systems are also being promoted to provide back power during emergency situations and as demonstration units.
The PV pilot project was implemented with several purposes in mind:
The initiative was brought forward in an effort to contribute towards Saint Lucia’s efforts to reduce reliance on the imported fuels through the popularization and deployment of renewable energy technologies. The general public was the target market, although in order to optimize the demonstration effect, the PV pilot project was composed of three sub- projects at different exhibition sites on the island: Castries, Pigeon Island and Vieux Fort. A short term public education and awareness strategy was executed during the implementation of this consultancy, (through conferences, town hall meetings, etc) as a means of ensuring project visibility and publicity.
The overall objective of this project was to contribute to sustaining Saint Lucia’s economic growth, and assist in economic diversification, thereby improving Saint Lucia’s economic competitiveness. This would enhance efficiency and productivity within the agricultural and other sectors with the thought to also provide Technical Assistance to the Government of Saint Lucia to implement the Energy component of the SFA 2006 Programme.
Grenada Solar Power was the contractor on the project. The successful pilot project was funded under the provisions of the Special Framework of Assistance (SFA2003), ‘Economic and Agricultural Diversification, and Poverty Reduction through Integrated Resource Management’ (INRMP) (EMF). The EMF, was managed by the BIT and this project was implemented on behalf of the Sustainable Development and Environmental Section (SDES) of the Ministry of the Environment.
As a result of the PV pilot project, a number of outcomes were achieved: