JIS News

The Ministry of Commerce, Science and Technology, in collaboration with JAMPRO and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN ECLAC) will launch a publication titled, “Renewable Energies Potential in Jamaica” and host a panel discussion involving industry experts on Friday, December 16, 2005 at the Hilton Kingston Hotel.
The publication follows the visit of a UN ECLAC mission to Jamaica in June 2004, when it was agreed that ECLAC would support the Government of Jamaica in the promotion and development of new and renewable forms of energy.
Subsequently, ECLAC gave an undertaking to provide technical assistance to the Government in preparing an assessment report on renewable energy potential in Jamaica. The document was prepared after consultations with major stakeholders throughout Jamaica.
The publication and panel discussion form part of Government’s renewed efforts to promote renewable energies in Jamaica. The discussions will focus on the opportunities, as well as, the obstacles to the wider use of renewable energies in Jamaica. It will focus on practical solutions to overcome these barriers, including the critical issue of public and private financing of renewables.
Key decision makers in the fields of energy, environment, financing and development planning will address these and other issues, including the potential of renewable energies to mitigate global climate change, address regional and local environmental concerns, reduce poverty, and increase energy security.
The event comes at a time when increasing concerns are being raised in Jamaica about fossil fuels, and the fact that new and renewable sources of energy are beginning to see some degree of maturity and, in many instances, now compete in economic terms with conventional sources.
One of the island’s major renewable energy projects is the Wigton Wind farm Limited in the parish of Manchester, a subsidiary of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ). Consisting of twenty-three (23) 900-kilowatt wind turbines, the Wigton Wind farm has an estimated capacity of 20.7 Megawatts of power and is expected to supply the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) with a minimum of 7MW on average.
The objectives of the Wigton Wind farm include implementation of provisions of the Jamaica Energy Sector Policy regarding renewable energy resources, diversification of Jamaica’s energy mix, and utilization of indigenous (sustainable) energy resources, especially the abundance of wind on the island.
Renewable energy is, in fact, a multi-billion dollar industry and the most dynamic sector of the global energy market. If the trend continues, it is estimated that as much as 25 per cent of the world’s electricity production could come from renewable energy sources by the year 2025.
Generally speaking, renewable energies include all energy sources and energy carriers, which are inexhaustible. This includes the radiation of the sun, wind energy, water power, solar, biomass and biogas.

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