Two Cuban experts will assist the Energy and Mining Ministry in executing the final phase of the Jamaica-Cuba Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL)/Energy Saving Project, Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Yuri Gala Lopez, has said.
The Cubans were scheduled to arrive in Jamaica on Tuesday March 22, to assist in the delivery of some 160,000 bulbs, earmarked for distribution under the final phase slated to commence on Saturday, March 26.
The Ambassador was addressing the launch at the Meadowbrook High School, North West St. Andrew on Tuesday morning.
Under the programme, which commenced in 2006, the government is replacing high energy-use incandescent bulbs in homes and offices, with energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs donated by the Cuban government. The initial five phases were completed by August 2007, with the sixth slated to take upwards of the next five weeks.
Ambassador Lopez said that the initial phases saw approximately 2.8 million incandescent bulbs being replaced, in more than 540,000 houses. He pointed out that implementation of the project has, to date, resulted in a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by more than 500,000 tonnes a year.
The ambassador said the project should entail a change in the mentality related to energy saving, and contribute to the creation of an energy saving culture in Jamaica.
Minister of Energy and Mining, James Robertson, in welcoming the resumption of the project, pointed out that it was incorporated into the government’s energy policy, which calls for a massive efficiency and conservation programme.
Noting that fluorescent bulbs use approximately 20 per cent of the electricity used by the incandescent ones, he pointed to annual savings of approximately $79 million in energy costs, manifested in an 87-megawatt reduction in peak load demand.
Cuban experts have indicated that the project’s final stage is likely to yield an approximate 6.5 megawatt decrease in the peak load demand, and a 36,000-tonne reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, per annum.
The distribution exercise will be undertaken by the Ministry and the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), and will be executed within budget, Mr. Robertson assured.
Mr. Robertson and Ambassador Lopez presented 124 of the compact bulbs to Meadowbrook High School Principal, Winsome Reid, for use at the school.
By DOUGLAS McINTOSH, JIS Reporter