Jamaica News: Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayal Williams, says Government will be revising the National Energy Policy to establish new targets for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and conservation.
“We have exceeded expectations in many areas and I am pleased to say that after just 10 years, we are looking at revising our National Energy Policy and our subpolicies to further develop the energy sector,” she said.
The Minister, who was speaking at the opening of the National Energy Policy’s 10th anniversary symposium at the AC Marriott Hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday (November 27), said that the energy sector has seen tremendous growth over the years and she is proud of the country’s accomplishments.
She noted that in 2008, petroleum accounted for 95 per cent of electricity installed capacity, while wind and hyrdo accounted for 2.4 per cent and 2.6 per cent, respectively. Ten years later, petroleum accounts for 74.1 per cent, wind 10 per cent and hydro 2.8 per cent.
Natural gas and solar, which were added to the mix, provide 11.1 per cent and two per cent, respectively, of energy solutions.
“These statistics demonstrate that we are on a mission to secure Jamaica’s energy future through diversification and the provision of alternative, sustainable and environmentally friendly sources of energy,” Mrs. Williams said.
Meanwhile, the Minister noted that renewables and other clean energy sources will be at the core of the development of the country’s electricity sector.
“We boast some of the largest solar and wind facilities in the Caribbean with the 20-megawatt Content Solar and the 37-megawatt Eight Rivers Facility, in addition to the 62.7-megawatt Wigton Windfarm and the 36-megawatt BMR Wind facilities,” she said.
She said the Government has set a target of 30 per cent of renewables in electricity generation by 2030, and by 2020 is expected to generate 18 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Carol Palmer, for her part, said she is pleased to be celebrating the anniversary of the National Energy Policy, which was the first long-term strategy to ensure that the country achieves a modern, efficient, diversified and environmentally sustainable energy sector by 2030.
She said that the policy must not be taken for granted, as energy plays a major role in the development of the economy.
“Having a policy to strategically guide our plans has become absolutely critical, especially at a time when we are battling the effects of climate change and volatility in prices for imported petroleum,” Mrs. Palmer noted.
“We are regional leaders in energy because of our national policy. Investors and stakeholders take us seriously because we have an energy policy, which lays out the plans and strategies for our energy sector,” she added.
The symposium was held as part of activities for Jamaica Energy Week, which is being observed under the theme ‘Energy at your Service: Empowering People, Building Resilience’.
Source: JIS News