Mon | Nov 23, 2020

Government re-establishes energy council

Published:Monday | July 8, 2019 | 12:05 AM

Cabinet has approved the re-establishment of the Jamaica Energy Council (JEC) with the naming of associated entities and individuals which will constitute the body.

The announcement was made by Minister of Energy, Science and Technology Fayval Williams in the House of Representatives last week. She said that the council aims to facilitate consensus and minimise partisan influence and other special interest groups and individuals on the energy sector.

The council is a national decision-making body that will see to the continuity of policy and the sustainable development of the country’s energy sector, Williams said.

The body will be chaired by the minister and comprised of the Opposition Spokesman on Energy Phillip Paulwell, as well as representatives of the Consumer Affairs, Commission, Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, and the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.

The Ministry of Transport and Mining will also have a seat at the table, as well as the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, the Planning Institute of Jamaica, Jamaica Public Service, and the Jamaica Solar Energy Association.

The Jamaica Gasoline Retailers Association, JAMPRO, the Development Bank of Jamaica, the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, Jamaica Institute of Engineers, Jamaica Institute of Architect, the Bureau of Standards Jamaica and academia will also have representatives on the council, Williams said.

The Jamaica Energy Council was established by a decision of Cabinet on March 12, 2012, and is supported by the National Energy Policy 2008 to 2030, which provides the framework for a comprehensive programme for improving the island’s energy efficiency, facilitate fuel source diversification and long-term energy security.

Williams told Parliament that the council will focus on energy conservation and efficiency, as well as the development of clean, reliable and renewable energy sources.

“The main tenets of the reconstituted JEC will be a focus on energy policies, energy conservation and efficiency, public education, electricity, the development of energy resources, including, but not limited to solar, wind, and hydro, waste-to-energy biomass, geothermal and ocean thermal sources, alternative energy resources, and conventional energy resources, including, but not limited to, petroleum,” she said.

The focus will also include oil and gas exploration, petroleum refinery haulage and storage, energy access for urban and rural electrification, and governance framework for the island’s energy sector towards achieving the energy policy goals.

“Letters are being dispatched to the various entities with the intent to convene a first meeting by the end of September,” said Williams.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com