Above: Julian Robinson, State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, says Jamaica must cut its energy costs (JIS Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Jamaica is on an “unsustainable path” when it comes to energy costs, and the country must cut expenditures on oil imports and energy usage, according to State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Julian Robinson.
“What we spend on oil exceeds everything that we export, including remittances,” he said during the closing ceremony of a one-week Energy Management Training Programme for public sector officials in Kingston. “We are on an unsustainable path. We will not be able to afford to pay for the oil, if we continue on this path, because the economy is just not generating enough money. The second part of it is that our energy costs are just too high.”
Jamaica’s current energy costs of 42 cents per ilowatt hour are six to seven times that of Trinidad and Tobago.
The current plan is to aim towards a 30 percent reduction in the public sector’s energy bill, he said.
“There are too many aspects of the public sector where we simply do not pay enough attention to how we manage our energy,” he said. “You are going to be leaders, because hopefully you will go back and champion what you have gained here and treat it as your own.”