Minister of Energy, Clive Mullings, has informed that the E10 Ethanol programme, out of the Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy, a unit within the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), is expected to be rolled out on November 1.
“We will make available in 87 gasoline, the blend of 10 per cent ethanol (and 90 per cent petrol).and that will also allow us greater facilities in terms of a foreign exchange demand. We will therefore be utilising a renewable resource for our benefit,” he informed.
He was speaking at the opening ceremony for the Jamaica Institution of Engineers (JIE), two-day (Sept. 24 to 25) exposition for Engineers Week 2008, being observed under the theme: ‘Exploring Alternatives’, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.
In highlighting some of the initiatives being undertaken by the Ministry, through the Centre to source alternative means of energy, he pointed out that some 40 projects had come to the Centre, and that there is going to be a second round of requests of proposals to get these on board. Mr. also noted that in terms of waste, to energy solutions, he has had discussions with the head of the National Solid Waste Authority (NSWMA), with respect to a landfill in Retirement, St. James “and that is going to be earmarked as one facility to utilise waste to energy,” he noted.
Mr. Mullings also advised that arrangements have been made with the National Housing Trust (NHT), to enable its beneficiaries to access loans for the purchase and installation of solar technologies (panels).
“It’s $1.4 million for a single applicant; $2.8 million for two individuals, who wish to utilise this facility; and we need to utilise that. We have a billion dollar window at the Development Bank of Jamaica Limited (DBJ), to unlend to other banking institutions for companies that want to engage in renewable energy and conservation,” he said, while encouraging persons to report any challenges they may encounter.
Minister of Energy, Clive Mullings, sits behind the wheel of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica’s solar-powered golf cart, as he engages in discussion with the President of the Jamaica Institution of Engineers (JIE) Desmond Young (left), while Vice President of the JIE, Colin Porter, looks on. Occasion was the opening of the Jamaica Institution of Engineers (JIE) two-day exposition to mark Engineers Week 2008, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on September 24.
The Minister noted further that the country’s energy sources, had to be secured for up to 30/ 40 years. In that vein, he announced that he would be naming an oversight committee to look at nuclear energy, noting that to this end, “we already have a slowpoke reactor at the University of the West Indies (UWI).”
Turning to wind technology, which he said is the fastest growing renewable energy source, the Energy Minister made note of the nine wind turbines which were acquired from Vestas Wind Systems, at a cost of US$50 million, to enhance the generating capacity of the Wigton Windfarm in Manchester. Each turbine, capable of producing two megawatts (MW) of electricity, is expected to be installed, within the next 12 months, and will provide an additional 18 MW.
While citing the cost involved as one of the greatest challenges faced when setting up solar energy technologies in Jamaica, especially in terms of batteries, he noted that there is also a project on stream to have a solar factory in Jamaica, which will supply not only Jamaica, but the region. “We are looking at a particular community that will facilitate the utilisation of solar (energy),” Minister Mullings said.
He commended the JIE “for staging this very important exposition, as we look at alternative energy.and the objective must be to facilitate energy independence. Indeed, your theme of ‘Exploring Alternatives’, is most timely in light of international oil and economic situations that have an impact on all nations.”
Meanwhile, President of the JIE, Desmond Young, in his remarks, said that as part of fulfilling the organisation’s mandate, every year, “the JIE strives to focus the attention of the nation on achievements of our engineers, the development of new technologies and the development of new codes and standards.”
“This year, we have decided to host an exposition, supported by technical presentation, that will focus on renewable energy, energy conservation, green building designs and the use of alternative and more environmentally friendly materials in our construction and manufacturing process,” he informed.
The JIE is a non-profit organisation, that represents the interests of engineers, comprising members from all disciplines of the filed. It aims to promote and encourage the advancement of the profession and to facilitate the exchange of ideas between members and the public.