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JAMAICA-Government exploring alternatives to present energy supplies

The Jamaica government says the volatility of the global energy market has forced consuming countries worldwide to take a serious look at the skyrocketing cost and its impact on their economies. Energy and Mining Minister Clive Mullings says the government has stepped up its effort to raise public awareness and plan strategies for the use of alternative energy, particularly renewable energy.

Included in the strategies are the launching of the country’s first National Energy Policy; setting the stage for the introduction of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG); promoting the use of solar energy and expanding wind farms.

Mullings is calling on Jamaicans to be more knowledgeable about energy consumption in their households and that the appliances they purchase are energy efficient.

“The reason why, in some instances, the bill goes up, is that the house is locked up and is very hot, and the refrigerator, by virtue of the increasing pressure on the outside, is continuously working,” he said.

Mullings points out that 65 per cent of energy consumption is in refrigeration and air-conditioning, and the Government is actively examining the use of the current hydro carbon refrigerant, which is highly inefficient.

“We have to see how best we can minimise the utilisation of that in appliances or make our consumers aware that when they are purchasing equipment, they don’t just buy the cheapest one, but they look at the energy efficient one,” he said.

Mullings said that the government has stepped up its effort to boost its renewable energy strategy, through the commissioning of a Wind Mapping study.

The Energy Minister said that the study is critical to the government’s strategy of increasing its available stock of alternative energy sources, which will assist in reducing the country’s dependence on fossil fuel.

“A loan has been received and the process has already begun. We expect that that wind map will allow not only for putting up turbines, but (will) encourage private investors to come in, because then you’ll know where to put up wind turbines,” he said.

Mullings said that the study is also necessary because not every location that is windy or has a strong gust of wind is suitable.

“If the flow is inconsistent, then the output from the turbine is inconsistent and it affects the grid’s stability and its delivery,” he added.

The authorities are also keen in facilitating the development of a solar manufacturing plant in the island, or developing the business plan which would lead to its creation.

“We’ve had some discussions and we’re going to be either facilitating or developing a business plan for a solar manufacturing facility in Jamaica and this would be the first in the CARICOM region,” said Earl Green, the Chief Technical Director at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ).



Category/ies:Jamaica News.
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