The Government’s thrust in having the private sector invest in alternative energy, has received strong support from energy specialist with the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), Dr. Raymond Wright.
Dr. Wright, Manager for Special Projects with the PCJ, who describes himself as “an evangelist for private sector involvement in energy production,” told JIS News that he fully supported the move by the Government to invest in a commercial wind farm at Wigton in Manchester.
“This is so, because wind can be produced somewhere between seven and ten US cents per Kilowatt hour and presently we’re paying the JPSCo about twenty-nine US cents per Kilowatt hour,” he said.
Renewable energy projects, he explained, normally have a payback time of between four and five years. “So, after about five years you have no other costs apart from maintenance and operations…You go into profit mode in a significant way after five years,” Dr. Wright said.
Stressing the need for public/private sector partnerships and private sector investment in wind energy harvesting projects, he pointed out that wind energy can be produced at about one-third of the price the country is now paying for energy produced from fossil fuel. “We need to get private investment in some of these new wind farms as we go forward,” he emphasised.
Dr. Wright also cited other renewable energy projects that present opportunities for the local private sector, including bio-fuel and hydro power.
CONTACT: O. RODGER HUTCHINSON