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RE to meet 15% of Jamaica energy needs

Renewables, including solar and wind energy, are to meet 15 per cent of Jamaica’s energy needs, under the revamped energy policy to be tabled before Cabinet later this month.

This is according to permanent secretary in the Ministry of Mining and Energy Marcia Forbes.

She noted that numbered among the renewables to form a part of the island’s energy mix are biofuels, including ethanol and jathropa.

Forbes admitted that while they had concerns over the potential impact that biofuels could have on the cost of local food, they intended to see how best any fallout could be minimised.

“We are planning to mainly use marginal lands for growing feedstock and are not looking at feed stock like corn,” she told the Sunday Observer.

At the same time, Forbes said the ministry was looking to increase the Jamaica Public Service’s (JPS’) generating capacity by 500 megawatts, “based on the new hotels, etc”.

Forbes’ statement follows the disclosure by Minister of Mining and Energy, James Robertson, that government was examining ways to increase the capacity of the JPS.

Currently, the utility company and four independent power providers generate a collective 820 megawatts of electricity, while the average peak demand for the island is approximately 650 megawatts.

But specifically how the policy intends on achieving the increased capacity, Forbes did not say.

“The policy provides a framework. We will talk further with the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) on this matter,” she said.

Meanwhile, before the policy – work on which was substantially completed last month – gets to Cabinet, it will have to make a number of other stops.

“The Cabinet submission is being prepared. However, prior to its submission we will be sending the policy to the Ministry of Finance as well as to all the permanent secretaries for comments,” Forbes told the Sunday Observer.

Source: Jamaica Observer

Category/ies:Jamaica News.
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