First things first, we’re blogging about this because it’s awesome. Did you know that T&T is the second highest producer of carbon emissions per capita, in the world? Yes. If our country had a population the size of China, the Day After Tomorrow’s 2015 sequel would be called, Today.
The Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs along with the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training and the National Energy Corporation, joined forces with UTT at their ‘Energy Campus’ at Point Lisas to reveal to T&T the first 100% fully powered (and fully-legal in this case) Solar House. The house, situated just off of the UTT Point Lisas carpark, generates all its needs from two sets of solar panels on its roof and is largely built of pressure-treated wood on a concrete and brick foundation. Inside you will find two small bedrooms open to the breezy former cane-fields behind, high-vaulted ceilings and a small low-energy extractor fan in the kitchen for keeping cool. The house features the highest-rated electrical fixtures possible and all the furniture and rugs that never made it into a Courts catalog in the 90’s. Sorry, we had to. 😉
So for those of you wondering how much this cost the Government – well the official price was listed at one million Trinidad and Tobago dollars – also making it the most expensive carpark guard booth in the world! (We had to, again.)
This is, however, a HUGE step for T&T and a project that Huck supports 100% for its ability to really reach the masses and make an impact in our understanding our solar energy. You may bemoan the fact that it came with a TTD$1M price tag, but the actual reality is, that a campaign on solar or renewable energy would cost the Ministry anywhere between TTD$250K to $500K monthly anyway and not guarantee the same kind of impression that this project will earn from visits by school children, as well as through earned media and social media. As the saying goes, the sun will still be shining on the day that the oil runs out. It’s time that we drew on our revenues and profits from fossil fuels to safeguard our futures. The Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs also noted that Cabinet had approved the Feed-In tariff, taking us one step closer to generating our own electricity and having T&TEC send us cheques, not bills.
The various arms of the State have also made strides in outfitting many Secondary Schools and Community Centres with low-energy CFL bulbs and solar panels – which is remarkably forward-thinking as these are the places that we will depend on for refuge in the event of a major hurricane or earthquake. This all too, is a culmination of a near-four year award-winning campaign by the Renewable Energy Unit of the Ministry of Energy led by Randy Ramadar Singh along with the early input of advertising agency, Rostant DDB. Their combined creative output educated the general public on where our energy came from in its first phase before leading us to find ways to conserve energy through wise decisions and use of CFL bulbs and energy efficient devices in its second phase. This last phase is an exciting development for every single person in our beloved T&T.
As a crowd-sourced creative company, it’s all too exciting that we may one day, as a nation, crowd-source our national energy grid too. Till then, let’s crowd-source some more love and positivity. – Huck.
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Huck Note: We are not affiliated with any State institution named in this article.