Energy Security Vital for Sustainable Growth – Dr. Wheatley

Photo: Garwin Davis Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, addresses stakeholders and business interests at the opening of GD Texaco Service Station on Market Street in Falmouth on September 29.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says energy security is vital to achieve sustainable growth in the economy.
  • Addressing business interests at the opening of the new GD Texaco Service Station on Market Street in Falmouth on September 29, Dr. Wheatley said in light of this reality, the Government is committed to diversify its energy mix to “give us a state of independence”.
  • Dr. Wheatley argued that it is not just fossil fuel that will be the main source of energy but that the Government is committed to broadening its options to ensure that renewables are an integral part of every decision going forward.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says energy security is vital to achieve sustainable growth in the economy.

Addressing business interests at the opening of the new GD Texaco Service Station on Market Street in Falmouth on September 29, Dr. Wheatley said in light of this reality, the Government is committed to diversify its energy mix to “give us a state of independence”.

“Regardless of what some would want us to believe, if we do not have a certain level of energy security, then it would be impossible for us to have real economic growth,” Dr. Wheatley emphasised.

“It is energy that actually fuels growth. If you look around us, if the price of petrol is not at a level that facilitates the movement of people and goods and services, then what you will see is a decrease in what is happening in our economy. Simply put, it will translate into negative growth,” he added.

Dr. Wheatley argued that it is not just fossil fuel that will be the main source of energy but that the Government is committed to broadening its options to ensure that renewables are an integral part of every decision going forward.

“Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a critical component. With that level of diversification, it gives us that feeling of independence and a lot of breathing space,” the Minister said.

Dr. Wheatley reminded the audience of the energy crisis between the period 2008 and 2009 when the price of oil skyrocketed to more than US$100 per barrel, almost crippling the Jamaican economy.

“It had a devastating effect, which almost killed the productive sector. We are now committed that going forward, to be really independent as a country, we must have that level of energy security,” he said.

The Minister in commending GD Texaco for “thinking outside of the box”, said technology is also an important component that complements the energy sector in a very significant way.

“I am seeing where this company is planning to use more technology for the delivery of service to its customer base. I am sure that in another 10 years, we will be seeing more companies operating in Jamaica using technology to be more energy efficient,” he said.

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