Energy Policy Being Fast Tracked


Minister of Energy, Mining and Telecommunications, Clive Mullings has said that efforts are being made to have Government’s Energy Policy promulgated into law before the end of the 2007/08 legislative year on March 31.
In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Mullings said the Policy was tabled in Parliament as a Green Paper, which facilitated a series of consultations, which were held over the last four to six weeks.
“We went from St. Thomas to Portmore, the University (of the West Indies), we were in Westmoreland, and Mandeville, among other places. In those meetings and consultations, we took note of all the concerns and suggestions, distilled them, and that will come to inform the Energy Policy to move (it) from a Green Paper to a White Paper, and then have it promulgated into law,” Mr. Mullings explained.
The consultations, Mr. Mullings said, were co-ordinated by team members from units within the Ministry. He described the participants who attended as being “very enthusiastic,” raising concerns about renewable energy options, particularly solar, the cost of electricity, and energy conservation measures. Consequent on the feedback, he said that, “what we have to do now is table the White Paper, and then we move on from there.”
“So, we are trying to fit it (promulgation of Energy Policy) in this legislative year. If not, (then) as soon as the new (2008/09) legislative year starts in April,” the Minister added.
On a related matter, Mr. Mullings disclosed that he would be making a Cabinet submission on Monday February 25) regarding a proposed Conservation Policy. This, he pointed out, would set in motion a public education programme islandwide, once the submission is approved.
“Having commenced the process with the Energy Policy, what we need to do now is the public education sensitization, so that we can have true conservation ‘buy-in’, which is absolutely crucial.
The submission will be made to Cabinet and the outcome of (discussions on) this will determine the way forward in terms of the framework,” Mr. Mullings informed.
He also pointed out that there would be symbiotic links between the Energy Policy and the proposed Conservation Policy and attendant public education thrust.
“What we need to do now, until we move to that White (Energy Policy) Paper, is to bring into effect those recommendations as it relates to building codes and others. In terms of sensitization, it is largely how we can ramp up the issue of conservation, for that takes in a whole lot in terms of trying to influence lifestyles,” Mr. Mullings said.

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