Some $270 million has been allocated in the 2013/14 Estimates of Expenditure to continue work on the Government’s Energy Security and Efficiency Enhancement project.
Being implemented by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM), the project is expected to start phase one feasibility studies of five small hydro sites this fiscal year.
Consultants will also be engaged to: develop a legal and regulatory framework for the gas sector, as well as an Electric Power Policy and for the Modernisation of the Electricity Lighting Act; to do a grid impact analysis and assessment for increased penetration of renewable energy into the Jamaica’s electricity grid; and to develop a Smart Grid Roadmap for Jamaica.
The project, which began in 2010, and has been extended to 2015, is being funded by the Government and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Its main objectives are: to promote private sector investment in the energy sector by updating the regulatory framework; preparing projects for investment decisions and increasing the contribution of renewable energy in electricity usage; and to improve energy efficiency and security in key areas of the economy, including implementation of fuel diversification through development of gas strategy and fuel switching.
Physical achievements up to February this year include: giving the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) the rights to construct a 360-megawatt combine cycle power plant; completion of consultancy to examine carbon credit mobilisation for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG); conclusion of a contract to conduct feed-in tariff assessment for renewable energy; and the disbursement of loans totaling $70 million by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), for renewable energy.
By Andrea Braham, JIS Reporter