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More net-billing licences this year

Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister Phillip Paulwell says the Government will be awarding licences for the provision of up to 115 megawatts of capacity for renewable energy this year.

He made the disclosure on Monday as he addressed residents of Highlight View and Land Lease in eastern St Andrew, who were receiving electricity for the first time, under the Rural Electrification Programme (REP).

The award of the licences is being facilitated under the new billing system introduced last year as part of measures to liberate the energy sector and diversify the energy base.

Under the framework, persons are able to sell excess energy generated through renewable sources to the national grid. A total of 11 such licences was awarded last May for the provision of up to 100 kilowatts of energy to the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) at a cost of approximately US$0.25 per kilowatt hour.


Greater certainty

Meanwhile, Minister Paulwell promised that 2013 is going to be a ‘momentous year’ for the country in relation to energy.

“It is going to be the year when we achieve greater certainty, more certainty than ever as to the path that we are going to be taking to achieve lower prices for energy. In fact, early in the year, we intend to award licences to see more use of renewable energy”, he said.

“We have energy from the sun, we have energy from the garbage, we have energy from the wind, I think that is tremendous and JPS supports us as we go in that direction,” Minister Paulwell said.

Some 90 homes in the two rural St. Andrew communities were provided with electricity on New Year’s Eve. Some 900 more families are slated to be connected, to bring electricity to 2,500 residents in both communities.

Meanwhile, Minister Paulwell said he has been mandated by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to bring the other two and a half per cent of Jamaicans currently living without electricity on to the national grid.

He said the prime minister has also indicated that she wants to see lower electricity prices, adding that the ministry and JPS were working towards this goal.

Category/ies:Jamaica News.
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