Join our forum Subscribe to mailing lists
Join a chatroom Join a meeting
Browse the site by category

‘Renewable sources are a power-system problem’

Professor Anthony Chen (right) looks at a solar panel with Professor Chandrabhan Sharma (left), Faculty of Engineering, University of the West Indies, St Augustine, and Lenworth Kelly, president of the Jamaica Institution of Engineers, at the Jamaica Institution of Engineers in Association with Academia and Industry Energy Conference 2011 dubbed 'Developing A Sustainable Energy Future' at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston yesterday. - Rudolph Brown/Photographer
Professor Anthony Chen (right) looks at a solar panel with Professor Chandrabhan Sharma (left), Faculty of Engineering, University of the West Indies, St Augustine, and Lenworth Kelly, president of the Jamaica Institution of Engineers, at the Jamaica Institution of Engineers in Association with Academia and Industry Energy Conference 2011 dubbed ‘Developing A Sustainable Energy Future’ at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston yesterday. – Rudolph Brown/Photographer


The island’s engineers spent yesterday debating the place of renewable energy in a future that is only getting hotter and more expensive.

The engineers were speaking at an energy conference hosted at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, by the Jamaica Institution of Engineers in conjunction with the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of Technology.

“Renewable energy is not a technology problem, it is a power-system problem,” said Dr Chandrabhan Sharma, professor of energy systems at UWI’s St Augustine campus.

Sharma explained that any energy system requires stability, security, and adequacy.

“Renewable energy cannot react in time,” he said, speaking of the demands put on a system like Jamaica’s.

Sharma added: “Renewable energy can supplement a system, but it can never be its basis.”

In his address to an audience that included co-recipient of Al Gore’s 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, Dr Anthony Chen, Sharma argued that global warming was a natural phenomenon related to solar activity and that global temperature increases were, in fact, the cause – not effect – of increased greenhouse gases.

“The world has been led to believe that anthropogenic carbon dioxide is causing climate change,” said Sharma. Of the drive to create more renewable energy, he opined, “You don’t do something because the First World says so; you do something because it is good for your system.”

Whether an increase in greenhouse gases causes climate change, or vice versa, is irrelevant, argued climatologist and head of the Physics Department at UWI (Mona), Dr Michael Taylor.

He said the reality of the situation is that an increase in global temperature, regardless of the cause, will mean a necessary increase in energy consumption.

In addition to the infrastructural threat posed by rising sea levels, Taylor made it clear that there would be an “increase in the demand for cooling under a global-warming scenario”.

Jamaica currently uses 65 per cent of its energy for cooling and refrigeration. This percentage would undoubtedly increase if and when temperatures rise.

The issue of night-time warming was also raised.

“We depend on the cool nights to save our energy,” said Taylor. “We might [soon have to] be running [refrigeration and cooling units] at night.”

The key, said Taylor, is not just the construction of renewable energy. Rather, it is whether or not – through the use of LED lights, water harvesting, the reuse of grey water, or renewable energy construction – “we take advantage of our available resources” in the mitigation of overall energy consumption.

 

Source:  Jamaica Gleaner



Category/ies:Jamaica News.
RSS: RSS 2.0 Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.




View My Stats