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Tremendous potential for solar energy in Jamaica, says Canadian company

The continuing increase in oil prices has greatly impacted many economies, especially those in the developing Caribbean region, and Jamaica is no exception.

Having recently returned from a three-week trip to Jamaica, visiting numerous government officials and business leaders, Canadian-based Solamon Energy Corp.’s country head for Jamaica and senior VP Ainsley Brown says the country has turned a corner and is now more than ever considering the switchover from fossil-fueled generating stations to those using renewable energy sources sooner than later.

“The potential for solar in Jamaica is tremendous,” stated Brown, “and the opportunities for Solamon are real.”

After attending the annual CREF event in Barbados next month, Brown will be returning in early 2012 to incorporate Solamon Jamaica, in the wake of this past year’s island-wide series of renewable energy workshops produced by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), to implement Apollo Acre™ solar solutions that will enable communities and businesses to lessen their dependency on imported oil.

Brown is also looking forward next year to producing several informative town hall meetings to explain large-scale solar arrays in greater detail to members of the manufacturing industry on the island.

From the outset, Dr Earl Green, chief technical director at the PCJ, has reiterated in these crucial meetings their objectives were to promote energy efficiency; and introduce and expand the utilisation of energy-efficient equipment and programmes, including industrial insulation, while also replacing old incandescent light bulbs with new CFL or LED bulbs.

“We hope people will also consider such innovative products as the Solatube®,” adds Brown. “It has been introduced in other Caribbean islands and effectively provides natural sunlight to any room.”

Studies have been concluded and strategies implemented by the Jamaican government, but for this small nation completely dependent on oil, there is a serious energy crisis that needs to be dealt with; its people and their businesses today are simply desperate for solutions.

As now reported daily in the local newspapers, given the size and scope this crisis, the high cost of energy is affecting everything from the quality of life for the average Jamaican to the competitiveness of its recognizable brands on the global market – and survivability of the nation itself.

“Renewable energy and especially solar represent a sizeable step in helping to solve this critical issue,” Brown said, “and therefore we remain very positive in our outlook. In addition to the energy itself, just take a look at what solar can provide in the short-term: good paying jobs, a positive impact on the nation’s balance of payments, because oil is the number one import of the country and an expensive one at that, while most importantly freeing up room on companies balance sheets as a result of energy savings.”

Each Apollo Acre™ will typically consist of a ground-mounted solar array of integrated photovoltaic cells over five-acre packages of land, though Solamon now also designs and installs custom solutions with local partners to provide roof-mounted and parking lot systems that could be easily augmented by micro wind turbine technology.

“Our systems can be tied into the grid, or not,” Brown explained. “We are flexible and with respect to our developing relationship with BP Solar we can bundle several energy deals together in order to finance them appropriately.”

 

Source: Caribbean News Now



Category/ies:Jamaica News.
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