Electric vehicles a better bet than diesel and gas

Part five of an eight-part look at the pace and future of renewable technologies Transportation in Jamaica is powered by imported fuels, the importation of which costs us annually a bit more than the Jamaica Public Service’s fuel bill (as seen in last Wednesday’s article at the link pro ... Read More

(From left) Sponsorship and events manager at Wisynco Jermaine Brown, founder and CEO of Jamaica Environment Trust Diana McCaulay, representative of Negril Education Environment Trust Kristina Hanniford, and executive director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund Dr Carey Wallace check out the contents of one of the Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica clean-up kits distributed to community groups at Knutsford Court Hotel yesterday. (Garfield Robinson) Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica expands
In February 2015, a catchy jingle hit the airwaves. “Nuh dutty up Jamaica, please don’t ... Read More

Windmills at the Wigton Windfarm in Manchester (Observer File) Wigton to offer renewable energy training course in April
Registration is now open for a certificate course in solar thermal technologies at Wigton Renewable ... Read More

Project Manager for the Yallahs and Hope River Watershed Management Areas Project, Nelsa English-Johnson speaks about how improper land management  practices can negatively impact the island’s water reosurces. (Joseph Wellington) NEPA continues to urge fire prevention
In 2015, a devastating series of bush fires swept across several communities in East Rural St Andrew ... Read More

Flexpak Goes Green

BY RACQUEL PORTER Observer staff reporter porterr@jamaicaobserver.com | Wednesday, March 22, 2017    

Flexpak Limited Technical Director Nigel Hoyow (left) shows Senator Matthew Samuda an example of the company’s biodegradable plastic bags during a tour of the facility last week. (karl Mclarty)

Flexpak Limited, a major player in the manufacturing of plastic packagaging in Jamaica, last week unveiled a line of oxo-biodegradable plastic bags at its head-quarters in Twickenham Park, St Catherine. “We think we have found a solution for plastic bags not to be a major problem in this country, and it is a fairly simple solution to a very difficult problem,” said Uwe Kumst, chairman of Flexpak’s parent company Omni Industries. The bags are produced with the help of an add ... Read More

Imported fuels driving Jamaica to financial ruin?

David Cooke | Wednesday, March 22, 2017    

Jamaica transfers out some US$3.6 billion annually for fuel. (Chad McDermott)

Seeing is believing. If I tell you how big an impact imported fuels make on the country’s wealth you will doubt me, and therefore not make the effort to act on it. But if I show you, and you immediately see the huge impact, you will be convinced to act. So look at Jamaica’s growing and huge annual balance of trade (due to fuel imports) since 1980 at this link using the World Bank’s figures: http://www.theglobaleconomy.com/Jamaica/Trade_balance/ (Set the drop-down box to sho ... Read More

Jamaicans stand to profit from collective financing

David Cooke | Wednesday, March 15, 2017    

Solar plants, like this one in Serpa, Portugal, will coninue to dominate the energy landscape as they increasingly require smaller installation spaces and use technologies that extend their usefulness into the night..

We saw in last Wednesday’s article, entitled ‘When will JPS prices drop by more than half?’, that we could have much cheaper power if utility provider Jamaica Public Service (JPS) switches to wind and solar energy coupled with pumped hydro storage, displacing onerous and expensive foreign fuel imports. By having the finances ready and upfront for this coupling, we could have this entire low-priced electricity transformation done in less than three years to full operation. Other ... Read More

Dancers off to New York

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter | Friday, March 10, 2017    

Oraine Frater(Photo: Kenyan Hemans)

Two Jamaican dancers, Ashley Bromfield and Oraine Frater, will participate in a summer intensive programme organised by New York-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Bromfield dances with the National Dance Theatre Company and Vickers Ballet Studio, while Frater is a principal dancer with L’Acadco. They earned scholarships to participate in the programme based on their performance in a workshop conducted by Desmond Richardson, co-founder and co-artistic director of Complexions. The cla ... Read More

When will JPS prices drop by more than half?

David Cooke | Wednesday, March 08, 2017    

Prime Minister Andrew Holness looks at a substation at Wigton III, a 24-megawatt expansion of the  wind farm in Rose Hill, Manchester, following the official opening of the facility yesterday. The wind farm is expected to generate 63,072 megawatt hours of energy annually and will reduce oil consumption by 37,000 barrels per year. This will save Jamaica over $230 million.Photo: JIS

Energy choice is driven by price, no matter where in the world you are. It matters little to the public what type of technology is used to power their homes or the vehicle they drive. What drives their decision is the answer to this question: “How cheap can I get it?” To that end, there are several developments on the local scene that are indeed worthy of note. The new BMR-owned 36-MW wind farm at Malvern, St Elizabeth, is producing energy for US$0.13 per Kwh at fixed prices to Ja ... Read More

Fishers to get bad-weather warning app

Wednesday, March 08, 2017    

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica says agriculture, forestry and fishing saw growth of 29.1 per cent.

Fisherfolk in four Caribbean countries are shortly to be equipped with an early warning and emergency response tool in an effort to save their lives and property in circumstances of rough weather and sea conditions. The solution is a mobile phone app which is being developed by the ICT4Fisheries Consortium in collaboration with the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) under the Caribbean Regional Track of the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR). It will work to reduce risks ... Read More

Researchers call for protection of Caribbean ‘supersites’ to restore ocean ecosystem

Friday, March 03, 2017    

NORTH CAROLINA, USA (CMC) — Researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill have called for the protection of Caribbean coral reefs , known as “supersites”, in order to restore the environmental and economic setback that has been inflicted by overfishing. The report, published in the March 1 issue of the journal Science Advances, noted that up to 90 per cent of predatory fish are gone from Caribbean coral reefs, straining the ocean ecosystem and coastal ec ... Read More

Making the case for utility-sized solar generation

David Cooke | Wednesday, March 01, 2017    

Solar plants, like this one in Serpa, Portugal, will coninue to dominate the energy landscape as they increasingly require smaller installation spaces and use technologies that extend their usefulness into the night..

To observers, like myself, who track the advance of new technologies, the importance of them attaining one per cent and two per cent of global markets become critical focal points to watch. Once a new technology grows to be above one per cent of global sales, it is no longer considered to be a niche product, but becomes a mainstream product instead, near impossible to be annihilated. When these new products or technologies grow above two per cent, it signals they are big threats to the establish ... Read More

UTech to introduce climate change degree

Wednesday, March 01, 2017    

Entrance to the UTech, Jamaica, main campus (UTech)

The University of Technology, Jamaica, through its Caribbean Sustainable Energy and Innovatio n Institute and the Faculty of The Built Environment (FOBE)will on Thursday launch a multidisciplinary Master of Science Degree in Sustainable Energy and Climate Change. The university said the programme “is in response to the need for tertiary level training of specialists in the areas of sustainable energy and climate change, and has a strong focus on sustainable energy, entrepreneurship and g ... Read More


Wednesday, March 01, 2017    

Guardsman has upgraded the Hope Zoo in Kingston

When Hope Zoo increased its entrance fees by over 200 per cent three years ago, it attracted public backlash for the hike. But the facility, which is home to 63 species of animals as per its website, is currently offering to cut the rates in half...but only in exchange for recyclable plastic bottles. Under a programme dubbed ZooCycle, which is designed to foster the habit of recycling in children, the zoo is slashing its entrance fee for children (age three to 11) from from $1,000 to $500 onc ... Read More



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