JIS News

Opposition Spokesman on Energy, Phillip Paulwell has suggested a number of measures, which the Government could pursue in order to effectively address the current energy crisis facing the country.
Making his contribution in the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 8, Mr. Paulwell underscored the need to prioritize the promulgation and implementation of the Energy Green Paper currently before the House of Representatives, as well as fast track the proposed Energy Conservation and Efficiency Policy.
In addition to these, Mr. Paulwell, who is also Member of Parliament for East Kingston and Port Royal, urged the administration to: “expand the conservation and efficiency programmes that have already begun in the public hospitals and schools to include all public facilities; set specific reduction targets, (undertake) energy audits and energy efficient systems (and) appoint energy conservation officers in all government ministries and public sector agencies.”
For the productive and business sectors, he called for increased incentives to businesses and professionals to encourage installation of energy efficient equipment, particularly solar devices. Additionally, he said the $1 billion facility for small and medium-sized enterprises should become fully operational in order to facilitate the installation of energy efficient systems by these entities.
On the National Water Commission (NWC), which he pointed out was the Jamaica Public Service Company’s (JPS) largest public sector customer, accounting for 47 per cent of the energy bill, Mr. Paulwell suggested that the water provider be mandated to utilize solar and wind powered systems to operate their distribution network on a “phased basis” and, in the process, make greater effort to reduce its massive leakage rate.
Still on the matter of solar energy, the Opposition Spokesman argued that consideration should be given to exploring the feasibility of utilizing solar-powered batteries to operate the country’s over 90,000 street lights, which he pointed out, accounted for some 66,000 MWh in 2007.
Other proposals from Mr. Paulwell were the utilization of Portmore as the pilot community to demonstrate photovoltaic technology. This is the process of converting light directly into electricity, utilizing specially designed silicon cells. Further, that full support be given to the process of net metering or net billing for electricity usage.