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Twenty seven public hospitals across the island are now included in the Energy Efficiency Programme. The programme, which aims to promote energy conservation in the public sector, is jointly funded by the Government of Jamaica and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), at a cost of US$1.35 million.
“Public hospitals are major consumers of energy in Jamaica, accounting for nine percent of the energy used by the state,” Phillip Paulwell, Minister of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce told the House of Representatives on Wednesday (June 6), during his contribution to the 2007/08 Sectoral Debate.
The projects, which are at various stages of implementation, include: the installation of solar water heaters; upgrading of steam generation and distribution systems; installation of steam sterilizer; power factor correction; lighting efficiency improvement; air conditioning system upgrading; and energy audits.
Mr. Paulwell informed that a number of educational institutions in major centres across the island are also involved in the project. “The effectiveness of the programme will be evaluated on a regular basis, in order to quantify the cost benefit in a meaningful manner,” said the Minister. In the meantime, Mr. Paulwell pointed out that a Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy has now been established as a Unit at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ). “The Centre will conduct feasibility studies on renewable energy projects, identify potential investors and facilitate implementation of projects. In addition, the Centre will focus on building technical capacity in renewable energy technologies,” explained Mr. Paulwell.
The objective of the centre is to diversify Jamaica’s energy base by encouraging a selection of indigenous energy options. It also seeks to enhance the contribution of renewable energy to the energy mix by bringing focus to the development and diversification of renewable energy resources and technologies.
“The centre will act as a one stop agency, aggressively seeking to attract the best technologies and methods as well as identify the financial and fiscal incentives necessary to increase the levels of investment in renewable energy,” Mr. Paulwell said.