Gov’t committed to diversifying Jamaica’s energy mix

Jamaica Observer:  

PRIME Minister Andrew Holness says the Government remains committed to further diversifying Jamaica’s energy mix in a bid to achieving 50 per cent power generation from renewable sources by 2030.

Holness, who was speaking at the Protocolary Session of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington DC on November 27, maintained that if Jamaica is to achieve its full potential, “we must diversify our energy source with a view to achieving complete energy security”.

In this regard, he said a deliberate approach is being taken to energy diversification by ensuring that alternatives, such as wind and solar, become a greater part of the mix, while adding that “we are also examining the prospects of including biofuels, a sector which I believe has tremendous potential”.

Prime Minister Holness said the Government is also making every effort to ensure that the State-owned oil refinery — PetroJam — is upgraded to being one of the most modern facilities, capable of not only supplying Jamaica’s energy needs but those of the region and beyond.

He said that as a demonstration of Jamaica’s commitment to developing renewable energy sources and addressing the associated high cost, Jamaica, with the support of the OAS Secretariat, will host the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas in October 2019.

Holness noted that the event will provide ample opportunities for stakeholders to deliberate and gather pertinent information from industry leaders throughout the hemisphere.

He emphasised that the high cost of energy is among the underlying restrictions undermining the subregion’s competitiveness and growth.

“Our aim will be to capitalise on this opportunity [of hosting the meeting], as the country moves towards attaining 50 per cent renewables in our energy mix by the year 2030,” he added, while pointing out that the OAS is one of Jamaica’s key development partners in this objective.

“Together, we must continue efforts aimed at promoting regional energy cooperation through different strategies, identifying energy initiatives and exchanging experiences within the countries of the Americas in support of collective development objectives,” Holness said.