Robertson says President Clinton’s call endorses Government’s renewable energy thrust


The call by former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, for increased attention to the use of renewable energy in Jamaica is seen by Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson, as a solid endorsement of the Government’s pursuit of renewable energy sources.
He highlighted the Government’s thrust towards increasing the use of renewable energy, including Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), in an interview with JIS News.
He says that, from very early in the administration, Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding, had commissioned an energy and bauxite task force, led by Dr. Carlton Davis, from which came the impetus to complete the National Energy Policy tabled in Parliament in December 2009.
“The energy policy calls for a minimum of 20 per cent of the island’s energy to be taken from renewables, which means that Jamaica will be at 1,400 Megawatts (Mw) installed capacity, and at least 300Mw of that will be coming from renewables,” he said.
The Minister pointed to various projects that have been implemented, three installed wind farms, a 65Mw waste-to-energy project and explorations into bio-fuels, as indications of the Government’s serious approach toward increasing the use of renewable energy.
Coupled with the incentive strategies that have been implemented, Jamaica is now seen as a regional leader in the development of policies for renewable energy strategies.
“We have in draft form, which will be ready before the end of this year, our renewable policy, our waste-to-energy, our carbon trading policy and two new electricity regime documents we are on track,” Mr. Robertson told JIS News.
The announcement by Prime Minister Bruce Golding, in April 2009, of the country’s shift to using LNG as a main base-load diversifying factor, has been further strengthened by the delivery of the infrastructure.
“We’re waiting on a World Bank review of it this week and, at this point, we are way down the wicket,” he noted.
Upbeat about the endorsement, the Minister noted that efforts were being pursued to reopen the 50-year old Kirkvine bauxite plant utilizing renewable energy. He stressed, however, that great care will be taken to ensure sustainability.
“It’s not going to be opened because the markets are good today and shutdown tomorrow, turning the workers out two weeks later, destroying our communities, our education, our infrastructure. We’re talking about sustainable industries, because of this diversification this is a great story, this is a win win for Jamaica and we really appreciate the words of President Clinton,” Minister Robertson told JIS News.

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