A total of $595.8 million has been allocated to the Energy Security and Efficiency Enhancement Project in the 2012/13 Estimates of Expenditure, which is now before the House of Representatives.
The project, which got underway in August 2010, aims to promote private sector investment in the energy sector by updating the regulatory framework, preparing projects for investment decisions, and increasing the contribution of renewable energy in electricity.
It also seeks to improve energy efficiency and security in key areas of the economy, including encouraging diversification, and strengthening institutional and technical capacities for policy and strategy formulation, investment planning, project and programme implementation and sector regulation.
As of March 2012, some of the achievements include: evaluation of a 480-megawatt bid from Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Company Limited; awarding of rights to JPS to construct 360-megawatt combine cycle power plant; engagement of consultant to prepare new regulations and tariff methodologies for renewable energy; while five proposals were received for conducting pre-feasibility and feasibility studies of five small hydro sites.
For the 2012/13 fiscal year, the project will seek to develop the legal and regulatory framework for the gas sector; complete hydro feasibility studies of five sites; activate the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) line of credit to small and medium enterprises for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects; and to strengthen the institutional and technical capacities of the Energy Division of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining for policy and strategy formulation investment planning, project and programme implementation, and sector regulation.
The project is being funded by the Government of Jamaica and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and is scheduled to be completed by December 2015.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter