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Government to unveil new energy policy

Targets significant reduction in oil dependence

Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson (third right), in discussions with organisers and sponsors of Green Expo 2009, which was launched at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston, on Wednesday (May 13). From left are: Acting Chief Executive Officer of the National Environment and Planning Agency(NEPA), Peter Knight; Sales Manager of Marketing, Promotions Sales at Jamaica National Building Society(JNBS), Judy Benjamin; Chairman of Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust(JCDT), organisers of the Expo, Robert Stephens; Resident Coordinator at the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP), Minh Pham; and, Head of Corporate Communications at the Jamaica Public Service Company(JPS), Winsome Callum.

Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson (third right), in discussions with organisers and sponsors of Green Expo 2009, which was launched at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston, on Wednesday (May 13). From left are: Acting Chief Executive Officer of the National Environment and Planning Agency(NEPA), Peter Knight; Sales Manager of Marketing, Promotions Sales at Jamaica National Building Society(JNBS), Judy Benjamin; Chairman of Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust(JCDT), organisers of the Expo, Robert Stephens; Resident Coordinator at the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP), Minh Pham; and, Head of Corporate Communications at the Jamaica Public Service Company(JPS), Winsome Callum.

Government is within six weeks to unveil a new energy policy that will effectively guide the diversification of Jamaica’s energy sector, according to Minister of Mining and Energy James Robertson.
Energy Minister James Robertson at yesterday’s launch of Green Expo 2009 in Kingston.


That policy, he said, will reflect current and emerging energy realities facing Jamaica – an island that is 90 per cent dependent on oil and which in 2008 reportedly spent US$2.7 billion on petrol imports.


“We have accepted that it is impossible to run a country where 90 per cent of our energy comes from oil,” Robertson said.


He was speaking yesterday at the launch of the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust’s (JCDT) Green Expo 2009 in Kingston.


The new policy is to be an improvement on the National Energy Policy that was tabled in Parliament as a Green Paper in 2006, according to the minister.


A move toward liquefied natural gas (LNG) will be reflected in the new policy as Government seeks to balance energy demand with the interest of the environment.


Among the objectives of the new policy, according to information from the energy and mining ministry’s
website, are:

. to ensure stable and adequate energy supplies at the least economic cost;

. reduce the island’s dependence on oil through development of renewable energy sources and technologies, as well as bio-fuels; and

. minimise the adverse environmental effects and pollution caused by the production, storage, transport and use of energy.

“We are going LNG, which is the most friendly source of energy apart from renewables (wind, solar, hydro power),” the minister told his audience at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.


At the same time, Robertson said that while Government was not currently looking at nuclear energy as part of plans to diversify Jamaica’s energy sources, no alternative to oil would be ruled out.


Source: Jamaica Observer



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