Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson, has pointed out that the Government is continuing its drive to use energy diversification as a means of securing the country’s long-term advancement, self reliance, and sustainability.
“Jamaica is improving its infrastructure, developing key policies, preparing the legal and regulatory framework and making the requisite investment in research and development to ensure that our energy and mining sectors are competitive and sustainable,” he said.
The Minister was speaking at a seminar, put on by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) and the Regional Association of Oil and Natural Gas Companies in Latin America and the Caribbean (ARPEL), at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in Kingston, today (July 22).
Mr. Robertson explained that the recently completed National Energy Policy would ensure that Jamaica develops a modern and efficient energy infrastructure and a diversified energy mix, adding that a comprehensive Energy Policy along with a Bio-fuels Policy should be completed by May next year.
He also pointed out that development of alternative and renewable energy sources was also critical to ensure the country’s development, and that as part of this effort, the 20.7 megawatt Wigton Wind Farm, in Manchester, is being expanded by 18 megawatts to bring its total generating capacity to 38.7 megawatts by the end of 2010.
Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson (right), is greeted by Group Managing Director of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, Dr. Ruth Potopsingh, while Chairman of the Regional Association of Oil and Natural Gas Companies in Latin America and the Caribbean (ARPEL), Milton Costa Filho, looks on. Occasion was a PCJ/ ARPEL Seminar, held today (July 22), at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in Kingston.
The Government has also taken the decision to look to natural gas as a key fuel option for generating electricity.
“The transition to a less expensive and environmentally friendly energy source will transform the competitiveness of our industries, reduce the cost of electricity to our households and act as a catalyst for economic investment and growth,” the Minister argued.
However, he conceded that, “fossil fuels, oil, natural gas and coal, will continue to provide more than half the world’s energy, even up to 2050.” He therefore said that while the world races to find suitable alternative fuels, it must also discover and produce new sources of fossil fuels, including unconventional ones, such as oil sands. He also stressed that a way must be found to make fossil fuels cleaner by reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
The PCJ/ARPEL seminar was held under the theme: ‘The New Energy Agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean– Global Perspectives and Regional Context’. It featured panel discussions on the challenges for sustainable energy systems, such as technological, social, and investment challenges.