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Low-income off-grid communities to get solar power

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr Andrew Wheatley, today lauded the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) as a “good corporate citizen” for undertaking an initiative to provide low-income off-grid communities with Solar PV-Kits.

Wheatley noted that this project will seek to develop a replicable model for promotion of sustainable energy supplies within communities that have depended mainly on candles, kerosene lamps or charcoal because it is not economically feasible to install conventional pole and line infrastructure.

He was making his contribution to the 2018/19 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, where he said: “We will see the pilot project take into consideration 45 households, but the overall project goal is to provide up to 2,000 households in these communities with renewable generated electricity.”

Meanwhile, the energy minister said the burning of kerosene and its use in a confined space are harmful to life and health.

He stated that medical research shows the burning of kerosene to be especially inimical to the development of the young human brain.

Wheatley contended that the amount of money spent on a kerosene lamp and the fuel to burn it for three months cost more than the price of a solar home lantern. The minister informed that this solar home lantern, which is charged by the sunshine, is one of the most efficient off-grid lights, adding that it was bright enough for reading, working or lighting up a small space and can last for a number of years.

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