Project launched to slash pub­lic-sec­tor en­ergy costs

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS - Ja­son Cross Gleaner Writer

THE MIN­ISTRY of Sci­ence, En­ergy and Tech­nol­ogy has launched a sus­tain­able en­ergy project that is ex­pected to in­flu­ence a cut­back on fos­sil fu­els used to pro­duce en­ergy in the pub­lic sec­tor. This is be­ing done with the aim of min­imis­ing en­ergy costs for the sec­tor and con­tribut­ing to long-term eco­nomic growth for the coun­try.

Global En­vi­ron­ment Fa­cil­ity, The Petroleum Cor­po­ra­tion of Ja­maica (PCJ), United Na­tions De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme (UNDP) and the De­vel­op­ment Bank of Ja­maica (DBJ) have col­lab­o­rated to make the project a re­al­ity.

The PCJ hosted the launch of the pro­gramme on Wed­nes­day at its Trafal­gar Road, St An­drew of­fices.

The pro­gramme is ex­pected to run for three years.

Pub­lic ex­pen­di­ture on elec­tric­ity is ex­pected to go down. The coun­try’s im­ports on fos­sil fu­els should also de­crease by way of adopt­ing sus­tain­able en­ergy sys­tems and prac­tices.

EN­ERGY SER­VICE COM­PANY

Com­po­nents of the project in­clude ca­pac­ity strength­en­ing by sup­port­ing na­tional en­ergy train­ing pro­grammes; de­vel­op­ing en­ergy-re­lated leg­is­la­tion; and cre­at­ing a real eco­nomic source by es­tab­lish­ing an en­ergy ser­vice com­pany which will be pi­loted by the PCJ.

En­ergy-ef­fi­cient retrofits and so­lar power sys­tems will be im­ple­mented first in six health fa­cil­i­ties across the is­land.

The in­sti­tu­tions are the May Pen Hospi­tal in Claren­don; Black River Hospi­tal in St El­iz­a­beth; Sa­vanna-la-Mar Hospi­tal in West­more­land; Belle­vue Hospi­tal in Kingston; Sir John Gold­ing Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre in St An­drew; and the Na­tional Chest Hospi­tal in St An­drew.

The pro­gramme is also ex­pected to provide aid to two ru­ral area schools that al­ready have re­new­able en­ergy sys­tems.

Min­is­ter of Sci­ence, En­ergy and Tech­nol­ogy An­drew Wheat­ley said the launch of the pro­gramme was a great mo­ment for Ja­maica.

“This will cer­tainly help us to achieve our sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment goals. Ja­maica is the Caribbean leader in the en­ergy arena and this is a di­rect re­sult of your sup­port and in­vest­ments. This project seeks to de­ploy re­new­able en­ergy and im­prove en­ergy ef­fi­ciency in the pub­lic sec­tor. This in­ter­ven­tion will bol­ster our on­go­ing ef­forts to re­duce pub­lic-sec­tor en­ergy con­sump­tion by driv­ing ef­fi­ciency. The pub­lic-sec­tor is the main cus­tomer of the Ja­maica Pub­lic Ser­vice,” the min­is­ter said.

Ac­cord­ing to Wheat­ley, in 2015, the pub­lic sec­tor ac­counted for ap­prox­i­mately 16 per cent of to­tal elec­tric­ity sales by the JPS.

An­drew Wheat­ley

Ed­mund Bartlett

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