“In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground; he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.” – Job 39:24

After an interlude to reflect on my Tobago intervention on Service Excellence, I now return to conclude the series of exciting experiences, this time in the areas of Renewable Energy, Low Waste Lifestyles à la Japanese and Institutional Strengthening.

Electricity costs from non-renewable sources have rapidly escalated and have caused greater and greater hardship to the consumer, manufacturer and businessman. These rising costs threaten the sustainability of existing and emerging enterprises and add a major new challenge to the management of the economy. The contribution of a Renewable Energy Programme, which includes wind turbine, solar and bio-fuel systems, to the stabilisation and/or reduction of these costs must therefore be continually reviewed. Furthermore, in making a case for the development of solar energy applications, the late Professor, the Hon. Oliver Headley observed that “The sun will still shine when the oil runs out”.

One of the last projects with which Oliver was associated prior to his death in 2002 was a CBET business plan for a Photovoltaic module assembly plant, the output from which would be placed on roof tops and the resulting energy fed through an inverter into the national grid. Five years later, we must now examine the availability and cost of solar cells for such an enterprise, test other assumptions of the business plan under which such a project would be viable and seek Government policy support for this initiative. In the interim, the Barbados Light & Power company have shown their commitment to keeping options open by installing and monitoring a demonstration photovoltaic installation at Counterpart Caribbean’s Future Centre at Edghill in St. Thomas.

A PV electricity supply system, in addition to creating jobs in Barbados is estimated to result in significant ongoing foreign exchange savings. Furthermore, reduced dependence on foreign oil and replacing some of the greenhouse gas-emitting electricity generation capacity with clean, reliable solar generated supplies has both economic and environmental benefits.

An investment by Government in the PV electricity supply industry will yield continuing dividends in terms of job creation, the use of a free environmentally friendly renewable resource in abundant supply, the net saving of foreign exchange, enhanced energy security and a buffer for all types of consumer against escalating oil prices.

The organisers were very happy to host a Japanese delegation at CMEx IX. The feedback is that the presentation on Low Waste Lifestyles by Mr. Norihiko Kondo, Managing Director of the Kaiho Sangyo’s End of Life Vehicle (ELV) recycling plant in Kanazawa, Japan, was timely and very well received.

Mr Kondo has a vision to spread his company’s concept through the world with the support of the United Nations. In the Barbados leg of his trip the delegation, facilitated by CBET, explored the possibility of the government, private sector and UN collaborating to mount the Second International Conference on Automobile Recycling in Barbados in 2007, the establishment of a Research and Training Centre in the Caribbean and a Private Sector led initiative to establish a recycling business in the Caribbean, in partnership with Mr. Kondo’s Kaiho Sangyo Corporation. There is a bulk of treasure in ELVs – they contain various materials including iron, aluminium, copper, white gold and palladium. The challenge is to convert what began as an auto recycling enterprise into a resource producing company.

CBET has been engaged in a number of institutional strengthening exercises. Strategic Planning and a Staff Audit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, which have been very informative exercises.

An initiative of the Legacy Vision for Barbados arising from the major investment by the public and private sectors in Barbados in support of ICC CWC 2007 is the Cricket Legends of Barbados Inc. The Legends are 42 Barbadians (now reduced to 41 since Sir Clyde Walcott has been called to higher service), former West Indies cricketers, still alive but now retired from test cricket, most of whom contributed significantly to the success of the team in those “glory days”. These Legends are the current equal subscribers to the Permanent Subscribed Capital of Cricket Legends of Barbados Inc.

This entity was formed to inspire a new generation of cricketers on the island, by placing them in contact with the national cricketing legends. In implementing this project, Cricket Legends of Barbados Inc. will develop working partnerships with cricketing and other institutions in Barbados, the region and internationally and generally contribute to uplifting the image and future of the game of cricket.

Cricket Legends of Barbados Inc. will operate as a commercial entity and contribute to the financial security of the Legends by using a pro-active and innovative business approach. In doing so, the Company will also establish a Legends Foundation to contribute, as appropriate, to the social needs of the community. This initiative will offer for sale locally, regionally and internationally, a wide range of high quality goods (e.g. memorabilia) and services (e.g. lectures, appearances) reflective of the rich legacy of Barbados and West Indies cricket. CBET facilitated the business planning process.

CBET is also about to be involved with the Barbados Accreditation Council and is holding discussions with the Barbados International Business Promotion Company both of which promise to provide further exciting experiences.

(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is Change-Engine Consultant, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc. – www.cbet-inc.org)

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