Above: a Caribbean wind farm (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Jamaica is committed to diversifying its energy generation, and is aiming to generate 30 percent of its energy mix from renewables by 2030, according to State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Julian Robinson.
Robinson was speaking at a stakeholder workshop at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston this week .
“We are also examining other fuel sources,” he said. “The LNG project is on the way; the government’s role has changed, but we are committed to having LNG in the country hopefully by 2015.”
He also pointed to the Jamaica Public Service’s construction of a 360-megawatt plant in Old Harbour.
Robinson also said the Office of Utilities Regulation had recently issued a request for proposal for 115 megawatts of renewable energy, and that the first net billing customer has been connected.
Net billing allows customers of JPS to generate electricity through green devices like wind turbines and solar cells for personal use, and then sell excess energy to the light and power company at wholesale prices set by the OUR.
“We believe we must develop local capacity and we must develop the expertise to solve our own challenges here,” he said. “If we are able to successfully adopt these strategies, we can bring the cost of energy down significantly.”
He said the government’s public sector energy conservation plan also sought to achieve a 30 percent cost savings in public sector energy use over a three-year period.
Washington, DC-based environmental organization Worldwatch is currently designing a low-carbon energy roadmap for the industry.