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Jamaica Cited As An Exception To Slow Renewable Energy Thrust Regionally

Jamaica has been cited as one of the few exceptions among Caribbean countries in terms of the perceived slow pace at which the region is shifting to renewable sources of energy.


President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr Warren Smith, lamented the Caribbean’s gentle march towards renewable energy last week.

In delivering a lecture on the topic, ‘Regulating Utilities in Small Island Developing States – Lessons for the Caribbean’, Dr Smith said renewable energy is the most promising option for addressing the region’s current energy security challenges.

However, he noted that with only a few exceptions, the electricity generation capacity being presently derived from renewable energy within CARICOM countries is less than 10 per cent, in comparison to regional targets of 20 per cent by 2017, and 28 per cent by 2022.

“The major barrier, in my view, to rapid expansion of renewable energy generation in the Caribbean, remains that of the monopoly control over generation by the incumbent integrated electric utilities in several instances,” declared Dr Smith.

“Across the region, the potential for electricity generation from a range of renewable sources cannot be realised because of the lack of network access,” he elaborated.

The CDB President said only a few Caribbean countries have made meaningful progress in terms of the level of renewable energy investment in the electricity sector.

“This has been approved through the pursuit of varying degrees of legislative and regulatory reforms. Barbados, Belize and Jamaica are examples where such progress has been made,” Smith said.

Largely under the guidance of former Energy Minister, Phillip Paulwell, Jamaica’s alternative energy programme has seen marked improvements over recent years, with a variety of renewable energy options being pursued at different levels.

These include solar, wind and hydro-powered options, which have been facilitated by broad changes to the legislative framework guiding the overall power generation sector.


Category/ies:Hydropower Tech, Jamaica News, News, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Wind energy.
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