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Invest in alternative energy sources - Moss-Solomon

Published:Saturday | January 23, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Mark Beckford, Staff Reporter

CHAIRMAN OF the Scientific Research Council (SRC) James Moss-Solomon is calling on the private sector to use its financial and creative might to invest in alternative energy sources.

This approach, according to Moss-Solomon, would help the island to wean itself of its oil dependency while creating scores of jobs.

"Oil dependency is very, very costly in this world. It's a resource that can run out. It's a resource that is running out in some places and it masks many inefficiencies for those countries who are producers," the SRC chairman asserted.

Moss-Solomon, who was speaking at a Rotary Club of Kingston luncheon at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Thursday, believes that the private sector of Jamaica could look into areas, such as solar energy, liquid natural gas, bio-fuels, hydro and wind energy.

According to figures presented by Moss-Solomon, in 2008, Jamaica's oil-import bill was $2.7 billion, fell to $1.2 billion in 2009, and is projected to reach $2.49 billion in 2010.

fallout in bauxite

The significant reduction in the oil import bill in 2009 occurred as a result of the major fallout in the bauxite sector due to the global recession.

Looking at the major users of oil in the island, such as the transport sector, public utilities and bauxite, Moss-Solomon said that Jamaicans could invest in alternative energy to supply those sectors.

"This creates a real opportunity for the private sector. I am speaking to you, the Rotarians out there, who are not going to be making as much money off paper as you have been used to. So I'm thinking that perhaps some productive use might be a better bet."