James Husbands addresses launch of Saint Lucia Development Bank Climate Adaptation Financing Facility
Solar Dynamics was the region’s first effort in the response to the 1973 energy crisis and has been a steady contributor to saving energy, promoting environmental sustainability, economic prosperity, and productivity says James Husbands. The company was established in Barbados soon after the 1973 oil crisis, and in Saint Lucia in 1993 with Minvielle and Chastanet Ltd. being the 51% shareholder.
Husbands said that the over 12,000 solar water heaters installed in Saint Lucia each save homeowners 3145 kWh of energy per year, representing a saving this year of $2, 767.60 based on electricity cost of $0.88 per kWh. The solar hot water system each save carbon emission of .042 ton and 1.85 barrels of oil imports. Cumulatively, he said the 12,000 solar hot water systems will this year save Saint Lucia EC $ 37, 740, 000 and 22, 200 barrels of avoided oil imports.
Husbands, the longest serving manufacturer and developer of solar hot water systems in the Caribbean has been honoured in his homeland Barbados with a Gold Crown Of Merit Insignia, an Honorary doctorate from The University of The West Indies, a Laureate in The Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence in Science and Technology and a Pioneer Award from The World Renewable Energy Congress.
Husbands provided a comparison of savings using a solar water heater to a storage electric water heater.
By comparison, the average Saint Lucian family would save $51.432.43 over a 16 year period by using a solar water heater based on a moderate energy increase every fourth year.
Husbands made reference to a United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) survey in which Bay Gardens Hotels recorded a 95% to 100% satisfaction rate and a return on investment of 40% per year over the 20 year period in which Solar Dynamics hot water systems was installed at their facilities.
In his address, he apologized to customers who were affected during the protracted transition period when Solar Dynamics Barbados sought to take control of its business interest in the Saint Lucia company. He explained that the company has been climbing out of the hole in which it was left.
He said that on taking the company over, it was discovered that 90% of its assets had been dissipated during the period of negotiation between 2007 and 2013. On October 1, 2013, he was finally able to take control of the St.Lucia company, acquiring the 51% controlling interest which Minvielle & Chastanet Ltd owned.
Congratulating the Saint Lucia Development Bank on its financing initiative, he said that a larger number of families will now be able to avail themselves of the comfort of the solar hot water system. Husbands cited the fact that every morning, families using cold water have difficulty getting the children, and even some adults into the cold shower. This very often results in lateness for school and work and affects national productivity.
The solar hot water system was among a group of items selected by the St.Lucia Development Bank which contribute to mitigation efforts to combat climate change.
Greenhouse Technology, Awnings and Storm shutters, and solar electrical systems are also being financed through the facility which carries an attractive interest rate of 4.5%, and up to 7 years to repay.