JIS News

Minister of Energy, Mining and Telecommunications, Clive Mullings is urging all Jamaicans to do more to conserve energy.
The Minister, who was addressing an Energy Taskforce workshop in Kingston on March 19, pointed out that, “we must look at energy alternatives, such as wind power, geothermal and solar energy, in light of the spiralling price of oil on the international market.”
“Our whole world is configured around fossil fuels; the transportation, electricity and bauxite sectors consume a lot of energy,” he stressed, adding that “the task now for the Government is to make it profitable to switch to renewable sources and how to ensure sustainability when that switch is made.”
Additionally, he explained that as a developing country, Jamaica could not look at the energy situation in five-year intervals. The emphasis, he argued, should be placed on longer periods. “If you don’t have a perspective that takes you five years and beyond, then we are wasting time,” he warned.
Commenting on the use of ethanol, he said the Government had an ethanol refinery which it would solely own by the end of May this year. “We are not starting from ground zero, we are at that trajectory, but it is not only legislation that is going to assist us, people are going to have to buy into this change,” the Minister said.
For additional energy generation, Mr. Mullings revealed that ways must be found to harness the island’s natural resources, such as rivers, to generate energy in order to complement the use of fossil fuels.
Another area to be targeted, he suggested, included banks that could offer competitive loans to developers and home owners in order to provide renewable energy sources.
“We have to find a way to see how we can allow homeowners to have renewable energy, so as to wean themselves from the energy crisis which is ravaging disposable income,” he declared.
Jamaica has been almost entirely dependent on imported petroleum as its primary source of energy throughout its modern history. The transportation sector is the largest consumer of petroleum, accounting for more that 40 per cent of the total amount of petroleum consumed in 2006, the bauxite and alumina sector accounting for 35 per cent, while electricity generation followed with 19 per cent.

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