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Renewable energy policy to be ready by next week

Published:Saturday | September 11, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Philip Hamilton, Gleaner Writer

The Ministry of Energy and Mining says work on its national renewable-energy policy, which seeks to exploit natural power sources such as sun, wind and water, has been completed and is to be made available next week.

The policy is to be posted on the ministry's website, and is part of Jamaica's overall 2009-2030 National Energy Policy.

Energy and Mining Minister James Robertson, who made the disclosure Thursday during a workshop on the role of renewable energy in a developing economy, said the ministry's energy-from-waste policy would be accessible to most Jamaicans.

"We're putting in these policies, along with the carbon-trading policies, as there's no point talking about massive green projects if these policies and legislation are not in place," Robertson said to a standing room-only crowd at the PCJ Auditorium in New Kingston.

Chief technical director at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), Dr Earl Green, said the marketing of renewable energy in Jamaica remained a challenge despite the availability of several renewable energy sources.


Green said some of the problems affecting Jamaica's renewable-energy industry were related to issues with standards compliance, lack of monitoring procedures, consumer confidence, and an absence of experts in the field.

"Investors are at times unable to plan because of the current policies that direct us in terms of the cost of imports and the duties associated. It's really a challenge to investors as we proceed to develop these green field type of operations," Green said.

The chief technical director suggested that similar incentive programmes provided to the tourism sector could be used to develop the renewable-energy sector. He acknowledged that the current global economic crisis had also curtailed development in the sector.

He said the PCJ was willing to engage in partnerships with major stakeholders who could provide the specialist services and solutions needed to move the renewable energy programme forward.

Representatives from Green RG Management, an American company specialising in renewable-energy solutions, also made presentations on the use of energy-efficient devices in old as well as newly constructed buildings.