• JIS News

    Over 30 professionals in the energy sector are participating in a two-week pre-training course in the use of an energy modeling software, which will assist in building the country’s sustainable energy capacity.
    The software, called the Model for Energy Supply Strategy Alternatives and their General Environmental impacts (MESSAGE) is used to formulate and evaluate alternative energy supply strategies for a country or region.
    It combines technologies and fuels to construct so-called “energy chains” making it possible to map energy flows from the supply side (resource extraction) to demand side, which entails energy services.
    The model can help design long-term strategies by analysing cost optimal energy mixes, investment needs and other costs for new infrastructure, energy supply security, energy resource utilisation, rate of introduction of new technologies, and environmental constraints.
    The course, which is being conducted through the use of video conferencing, distributed compact discs (CDs) and online tutoring, is being hosted at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica in Kingston from March 3 to March 12, and targets professionals in the energy and electric utilities sectors as well as specialised institutions involved in energy sector planning and development.
    Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Senior Director, Energy Division, Ministry of Energy and Mining, Conroy Watson, informed that the software is one in a series that has been provided by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
    “One of the strong points in the use of this software is the different mixes of energy that we should have, meaning – wind, solar, hydro, biomass – and over what time period we can phase in the different mixes to give us the optimal output. This blends well with Vision 2030,” he said.
    Mr. Watson informed that during the two weeks, participants “will get familiar with the application of the software.”
    “It has a very strong environmental component. It also indicates the data requirement that will be involved when the full training comes along and it is also part of the whole process of sustainability, in that the more candidates who have (been) trained (in the use of the) software, then it’s the wider the application of the software in Jamaica,” he informed.
    He informed that the trainers from the IAEA will be in the island in April to complete the other aspect of training.
    The participants are drawn from the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), Ministry of Transport and Works, Ministry of Energy and Mining, National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), University of Technology (UTech), the National Water Commission (NWC), among others.