Green Island Living


The Caribbean island of Barbados has ambitious plans to be 100% powered by renewable energy by 2030. Abode2 spoke to Renatta Mohammed, Director of Investment and Marketing at Invest Barbados to find out more

Although the goal is ambitious, Barbados is surrounded by natural elements which make this potentially achievable. There’s water, wind and an ample supply of year-round sunshine; but of equal importance is the ethos of the Barbadian government, which is leading by example by embracing and supporting the use of clean energy. Additionally, history would show that as far back as the 1960s, the island pioneered the popularity of solar water heater usage in the Caribbean and in 2018, Barbados had the third highest use of electronic vehicles, per capita, in the world.

As part of its national strategy, the Government is committed to the growth of the renewable energy sector. Kaye-Anne Brathwaite, CEO of Invest Barbados, the national investment promotion agency, states: “An investment in this sector is an investment in our collective future.” Kaye-Anne continues: “Eco living in Barbados has become more important for both tourists and locals - with water conservation and renewable energy sources being at the forefront of the drive for more eco-friendly homes and accommodation.”

A quick search for homes in Barbados results in headlines such as ‘Contemporary/Luxurious/ Eco-Friendly’ (as is the case of Beach Houses by The Crane). Boarded Hall Green, a gated condominium community, proudly notes its ‘green’ attributes that include an on-site wastewater treatment plant, solar-powered street lights, underground utilities and solar heated water in each unit.

“For the past 10 years, our clients have been increasingly eco-conscious. Solar heated water is the norm – but the demand for photovoltaic systems has increased – and there’s a new desire to incorporate and utilise rain-water catchments,” says Peter Sandiford, Architect and Director of Habitats Architectural Designs Inc.

Some homes, and a handful of businesses are also completely off the grid. Simon Parravicino, Marketing Manager at Realtors Luxury Villa Rentals cites ‘Happy Trees’, a fully eco-friendly home for short term rental in the luxurious Sandy Lane neighborhood and other residences for sale with sustainable features. One other noteworthy example is ‘Tree House’ in Chimborazo, in the parish of St.Joseph. This unique property functions off 100% renewable energy, and rainwater supplies the household. An aquaponics station for irrigation is combined with aquaculture. Add a contemporary and open design to the mix for an indoor/outdoor feel and this is island living at its sustainable best.

Ian Ramsay, Managing Director at The Green Design Studio and Senior Architect at The Crane Residential Resort, agrees that eco-living would mushroom even more if an increasing number of home-owners and developers truly understood how the life cycle cost of the home is affected by the initial sustainable choices.

Eco-tourism is also finding its niche in Barbados. Kyle Taylor, co-owner of ECO Lifestyle and Lodge, who moved to Barbados 7 years ago from New York, said that reservations at the Lodge remain consistent. Taking their family’s commitment to sustainability further, the Taylor’s have also launched ‘ECO Sky Water’. As its names suggests, the water is a ‘product’ of the sunlight and air, utilising hydro panels. There’s no ground runoff and no contamination – just pure H2O with calcium and magnesium for taste and maximum health. This product is offered in glass bottles that can be recycled, or plant-based bottles that are compostable and/or re-usable, minus toxins and fossil fuels. The water is delivered using e-vehicles.

Jo Edghill, Managing Director at Megapower, recently shared that there are 600 electric vehicles on the road in Barbados, inclusive of a fleet of 35 e-buses that have been added to the national public transport system (the buses are the first in the Caribbean region). To support the increased e-mobility on this 166 square mile island with a population that’s under 300,000, 35 publicly accessible charging stations are located across Barbados. Now in its 8th year of business, Megapower has experienced sustained growth and sales, even during a time of pandemic, as more individuals, the government and businesses, appreciate the long-term savings and the fossil-free lifestyle.

If you’d like a taste of green living in Barbados, consider the Barbados 12-Month Welcome Stamp(barbadoswelcomestamp.bb) that offers those who qualify, a change of scenery that encourages you to exhale. If you’d like to explore investment opportunities in the renewable energy sector, real estate or any of the island’s established or exciting emerging sectors, contact Invest Barbados.


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