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Country on mission to have 30% electricity generation from renewables

Thursday, November 23, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology Hillary Alexander says the country is on a mission to have 30 per cent of its electricity generated from renewables by the year 2030.

Alexander was speaking at the start of the two-day Latin American Energy Organisation (OLADE) Executive Development Programme in Energy Efficiency (EDPEE) Onsite Workshop at the Hotel Four Seasons in Kingston on November 22.

“In Jamaica, our first National Energy Policy goal is to use energy wisely and aggressively while pursuing opportunities for conservation and efficiency. Based on the Policy, the aim is for our industry structures to embrace eco-efficiency for advancing international competitiveness while moving towards building a green economy,” the permanent secretary said.

“To decrease dependence on imported fossil fuels, we have been focusing on renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar and hydro. Our aim is to have some 30 per cent of electricity being generated from renewables by 2030. In fact, we would like to surpass that target,” she added.

The National Energy Policy was designed to ensure that by 2030 Jamaica achieves the vision of being a modern, efficient, diversified and environmentally sustainable energy sector, providing affordable and accessible energy supplies with long-term energy security, and supported by informed public behaviour on energy issues and an appropriate policy, regulatory and institutional framework.

The policy is underpinned by seven major goals. These are security of energy supply through diversification of fuels as well as development of renewable energy sources; modernising the country's energy infrastructure; development of renewable energy sources, such as solar and hydro; energy conservation and efficiency; development of a comprehensive governance/regulatory framework; enabling government ministries, departments and agencies to be models/leaders for the rest of the society in terms of energy management; and eco-efficiency in industries.

Alexander pointed out that total electricity generation from renewable energy, including hydropower, is now at approximately 187 megawatts, with up to 37 additional megawatts to come from the Eight Rivers solar project in 2018, as well as another 26 megawatts to come from investments in hydropower.

She said the objective of transforming the energy efficiency of the economy is a major priority of the Government, and this has been demonstrated in many ways, including the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme (EECP) and the Energy Security Efficiency and Enhancement Project (ESEEP).

The EECP was designed to reduce energy consumption in the public sector by retrofitting government establishments with energy-efficient equipment, such as cool roofs, solar control film and air conditioning.

“Indeed, since 2014, some 800 persons from Government of Jamaica agencies were trained through seminars and workshops in energy conservation and efficiency,” the permanent secretary informed.

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