KINGSTON — State Minister for Mining and Energy, Hon. Laurence Broderick, is urging students to help promote and support Government’s conservation thrust, by carrying out energy saving activities at home, particularly during the summer holidays.
He was speaking at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica’s (PCJ) Energy Conservation Incentive Programme for Schools 2011 awards ceremony, at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston, Thursday (June 23).
“When the Government talks about youth involvement in energy, it’s not just a feel good mantra, it’s something that we take seriously” Mr. Broderick said.
He cited the planned expansion of the energy conservation incentive programme to 50 more schools in eastern, western and central Jamaican. He noted that this was important to exposing more students to the sector.
“It is important that as many of our students as possible be exposed to the issues of the energy sector, and given the opportunity to apply their cutting edge ideas,” he stated.
Mr. Broderick said he wanted students to become acquainted with the National Energy Policy, which aims to create a modern, efficient, diversified, and environmentally friendly energy sector providing affordable and assessable energy supplies.
He noted that the Ministry and the PCJ were committed to investing in the requisite programmes, to ensure that young persons are equipped with the knowledge and skills to contribute to the sector.
“And more importantly, capitalize on the opportunities that will arise…because that’s the only way we will be able to build on and sustain the gains that we have made so far,” he added.
Mr. Broderick noted that the PCJ’s is undertaking of energy efficiency projects, particularly in the public sector, and pointed to the World Bank-funded Energy Security and Efficiency Enhancement Project, which the Ministry will be establishing.
The project is expected to increase energy efficiency and security through strengthening the regulatory and institutional framework to improve sector performance, by increasing private investment and transition to cleaner fuels, developing energy efficiency and renewable energy potential and project management monitoring and evaluation.
Fourteen schools participated in this year’s competition, including Ardenne High, St. Andrew Preparatory, Mona Preparatory, Campion College, Wolmer’s Boys, Ardenne Preparatory, Half- Way-Tree Primary, Jamaica College, St. Hugh’s High, Wolmer’s Girls, St. Andrew High, Merl Grove High, Sts. Peter and Paul Preparatory and St. Hugh’s Preparatory.
The programme was launched in 2003, as part of the PCJ’s public education drive. It comprises a poster, essay and science competition and engages students through seminars, exhibitions, educational tours, culminating in an awards ceremony/dinner at the end of each academic year.
By ALPHEA SAUNDERS, JIS Reporter