It is critical for Jamaica to move closer to energy independence, says Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda.
“It is the only way you are going to build that pillar that eventually your economy can be built on,” Senator Samuda emphasised.
The Minister was speaking at the High Commission of Canada in Jamaica’s Policy and Regulatory Masterclass – The Climate Approach, held at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston, on March 30.
Senator Samuda noted that the Government has submitted its updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which outlines the country’s strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to mitigate the effects of climate change.
“Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), it calls for a particular transparency and calls for governments to submit these contributions in line with how they will help the global targets.
Those targets are that we will cut 40 per cent of emissions by 2030, and one of the ways we would do that is by ensuring that we get to 50 per cent renewables in that period as well,” he said.
The Minister also pointed to the possible use of renewable energy in large-scale projects.
“The National Water Commission would have announced a project to cover Mona Reservoir with a floating solar system, which will provide 45 megawatts of stable clean energy to the grid at significantly reduced costs,” Senator Samuda said.
He added that Jamaica also has the prospects for hydroelectricity and significant increases in wind generation and solar energy.
“The Government is very clear that it will engage all three to ensure that we hit our mitigation targets and to ensure that we create stability and reductions in prices for energy, because it’s not just a moral obligation but it is an absolute need for us to be able to create stability economically,” Mr. Samuda said.
For her part, High Commissioner of Canada to Jamaica, Her Excellency Emina Tudakovic, welcomed the Government’s intention to facilitate the addition of 200 megawatts of electricity generation from renewable sources to the national energy mix, by local and international investors.
“Canada welcomes this announcement, and I hope we will all capitalise on this opportunity to connect and exchange in ways that will redound to the benefit of both Canada and Jamaica,” she said.