Tue | May 26, 2020

Look to Canada for energy solution - diaspora member

Published:Wednesday | December 31, 1969 | 7:00 PM

Nedburn Thaffe, Gleaner Writer

A member of the diaspora in Canada has said that it is time Jamaica engage Canada in the discussions aimed at eking out an alternative energy solution to solve the local energy crisis .

Addressing a Gleaner Editors' Forum at the newspaper's North Street, Central Kingston offices yesterday, Howard Shearer who is the chairman of Hitachi Canada, said he recognised that one of the greatest issues with the business continuity in Jamaica "is the energy question".

He argued that there is a "tremendous amount of stress on alternate energy solution" coming out of Ontario Canada, in particular, that he feels could be of significant benefit to Jamaica if the country takes the initiative to engage industry players in that region of Canada.

"This is significant because we cannot assume that the PetroCaribe deal will not crumble and, therefore, I believe it behooves us to try to find alternatives within solar (energy), wind, hydro (electricity) for example."

He said he recognised that some of the options were already being closely examined locally to see how they can work "but they require policy framework that allows them to strive and so we will certainly try to show example where the policy framework has worked in Canada, and maybe it could be adopted or maybe the conversation could find a way to see how it could be done," he said.

Adding to that, Shearer said that it was his opinion that the liberalisation of the power grid was the way to go for Jamaica. He said the monopoly on energy cannot be good for business.

"I personally believe that transmission and distribution should be separate. If you go to the US (United States) for example, you will find that transmission and distribution are separate ... (which) allows other players to come into the market. No monopoly is ever good," Shearer argued.