KINGSTON — Public and private sector energy stakeholders turned out Wednesday (June 22) for the second Jamaica Carbon Market workshop on the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and energy efficiency, at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) Auditorium, New Kingston.
The seminar, held under the theme, “Capacity Building for CDM Development, Carbon Training and New Approach to Energy Project Financing”, assisted participants in understanding CDM processes, while providing insights on existing and future financing opportunities with the CDM.
The United Nations’ CDM is a facility that allows emission-reduction projects in developing countries to earn certified emission reduction (CER) credits. These CERs can be used by more developed countries to meet part of their emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol.
The mechanism is expected to stimulate sustainable development and emission reduction, while giving developed countries some level of flexibility in meeting their emission reduction targets.
Under the CDM, Jamaica and other regional countries are also given the opportunity to build their renewable energy infrastructure and reduce the dependence on imported oil, while earning well-needed revenue.
Addressing the workshop, Minister of State in the Ministry of Energy and Mining, Hon. Laurence Broderick, reiterated for cost-effective energy.
“We all recognise that we can’t stay on the same pathway and you, the stakeholders, more than anyone, recognise that we have to stop talking,” he stated. However, he noted that much work was being done in the area of renewable energy, as the Government continues efforts to develop a National Energy Policy.
He said one example of the CDM at work in Jamaica was the Wigton Wind Farm in Manchester, which has been reaping much success. He noted that the Government was moving to develop similar projects elsewhere.
“We have the introduction of solar lighting and solar heating in a number of our hospitals, including at the Bustamante Children’s Hospital, and the programme is likely to be stepped up in several areas,” he said.
He pointed out, however, that it is an area that requires intense funding, to be able to take advantage of what can be realised from CDM qualified projects.
“This is why we are here today, to see how we can overcome the financing barriers that exist in this area,” Mr. Broderick told the participants.
In the meantime, Group Chief Technical Director at PCJ, Earl Green, reiterated that one of the main areas of concern for developing countries in energy efficiency and the CDM was financing.
“In any serious discussion on energy efficiency to include renewable energy and CDMs, one of the main issues that arise is that of financing,” Mr. Green said.
“Indeed, it can be argued that this year’s volatility in the global oil market has made more countries, companies and individuals inclined to pursue projects in both areas. I believe that the energy sector now provides excellent business opportunities, but capital is needed for its development,” he added.
Mr. Green stated that workshops were always important, as they help stakeholders to better understand the processes of CDMs, as well as to discuss and simplify the ways in which they can leverage the facility to benefit financially and structurally from the arrangement.
He said one of the main focuses of the workshop would be to discuss pertinent issues, and identify opportunities and solutions to facilitate the implementation of the energy policy.
Other topics discussed at the workshop included: Energy Efficiency in the Public Sector; Hydro Power development, Energy Services Companies, and CDM at Work: the Wigton Wind Farm Experience.
There were also presentations by President of Smink Consulting, Jaap Smink, Environmental Management Division Representative, Nicole O’Reggio, and Project Manager at Wigton Wind Farms Limited, Michelle Chin Lenn.
By ATHALIAH REYNOLDS, JIS Reporter