- Minister Paulwell says this thrust comes against the background of the administration’s recognition of the need to source and provide alternative energy options to oil.
- Mr. Paulwell made note of the Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency Action project being implemented across the region, which aims to encourage renewable energy efficiency.
- Jamaica and the Bahamas are the leading countries, with 10 small and medium sized hotels benefitting from energy audits.
Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, says the Government will be targeting the installation of renewable energy solutions in the island’s hotels.
Mr. Paulwell says this thrust comes against the background of the administration’s recognition of the need to source and provide alternative energy options to oil, on which Jamaica has become heavily dependent for power generation.
He made these comments while speaking at the commissioning ceremony for a new $388 million (US$3.5 million) 1600 kilowatt solar energy system at the Grand Palladium Hotel in Hanover on May 30,
In commending the management of the Spanish-owned Grand Palladium on its investment, Mr. Paulwell indicated that “you have joined a long list of hoteliers in Jamaica who have and are adapting the use of clean energy solutions”
“The Government is playing a major role in ensuring that our small hoteliers can institute renewable energy solutions that can result in cost savings and reductions in their energy consumption,” he advised.
Mr. Paulwell made note of the Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency Action project being implemented across the region, which aims to encourage renewable energy efficiency, especially for hotels with under 400 rooms.
“So far, Jamaica and the Bahamas are the leading countries, with 10 small and medium sized hotels benefitting from energy audits and other assistance,” the Minister informed.
Mr. Paulwell said establishments stand to benefit from major cost savings and technical support, among other things.
“Based on the audit assessment (thus far), a combined investment of US$4 million (approximately $444 million) has resulted in annual savings of 200 megawatts in annual energy consumption. The payback under this programme is estimated at three years and there is an additional 22 hotels waiting come on board,” he advised.
Mr. Paulwell said the government will continue to facilitate investments in solar energy and equipment in all sectors of the country. To this end, he said a major decision was taken in 2012 to remove all taxation from solar systems, as well as implement low interest rate loan funds for solar investment through the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).
He added that “we have also put in place a mechanism which allows solar energy producers to sell to the national grid any excess energy that they produce through a net billing arrangement. I have already issued 170 licenses for persons to connect to the national grid and start earning from their investment”
The installation of the 1600 kilowatt solar energy generating plant will see approximately 20 of the Grand Palladium’s villas being powered for more than 16 hours daily by the energy generated.