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The solar energy champ

DAMIAN Lyn is intent on promoting solar energy use among Jamaicans, as part of efforts to facilitate environmental preservation while strengthening his bottomline.

He’s making it all happen through his work as managing director of Alternative Power Sources — a company that, among other things, supplies housing developments with various energy solutions — and as president of the 11-year-old Jamaica Solar Energy Association.

LYN… I enjoy everything about my work

“Renewable energy is the way forward. It is a growing market. While the amount of money needed to implement energy conservation projects are high, the long-run paybacks are worth it,” said the man, who is also a member of the Jamaica Association of Engineers.

Included among the offerings of his company, which has as its tagline “environmentally silent solutions”, are electrical engineering design, energy management, photovoltaics, configuration and installation of bio-gas generator, wind turbine and hydropower services as well as architectural design.

“Before starting this company, working in this field was a hobby for me. While working in another subsidiary company, based on construction, I started getting involved with energy conservation. I then decided to start this business in 2005. I thought a company like this would have been a good solution, in comparison to the high cost of manufacturing needed equipment to create renewable systems,” Lyn told Environment Watch.

At the same time, he said the business was started to help provide a solution to the constant increases in oil prices — a worrying trend about which all Jamaicans should try to do something, through an endorsement of green technologies and the adoption of other conservation methods.

As managing director of Alternative Power Sources, Lyn has responsibility for supervising all major energy conservation projects the company is contracted to execute. He also conducts renewable energy design work and creates energy audits for clients.

“I enjoy everything about my work. I enjoy managing a team. I believe in team work and I am a serious team player. I like being in the field, not around a desk,” he said smiling.

“I have a different approach from most people. It did not cost me a lot to get this business started. When I started I did not pay myself. The shareholders and I started on a small budget and we grew the business, by not taking money out of the business,” added the 48-year-old, noting that it is possible for others to follow in his footsteps.

Meanwhile, Lyn said that critical to making a success of a conservation business like Alternative Power Sources is training.

“Many individuals who are now entering the market have no idea what they are doing because they are not trained. They research online how to create some energy conservation products and just enter the market. Those who are interested should develop a background in mechanics or engineering. They should also seek training, gain experience and be certified in electrical and mechanical installation,” said the solar energy consultant and holder of a first degree in economics from the University of the West Indies.

Even with the training, however, he said that there will be challenges that people in the field will have to face. For example, players in the market are presently faced with financing difficulties.

“It is very difficult to borrow at the base interest rates that the banks are offering. The high interest rates are cramping the cash flow of many businesses at the moment,” Lyn said.

He wishes to advise and encourage those in the energy conservation market to be strong and try to build the slowly growing market honestly.

Category/ies:Jamaica Articles.
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