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Energy minister pleased with local efforts to cut carbon footprint

Published:Saturday | May 11, 2019 | 12:13 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Wigton Windfarm, a hillside haven in Rose Hill, Manchester.
Wigton Windfarm, a hillside haven in Rose Hill, Manchester.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Fayval Williams says Jamaica is on the right path towards slashing its carbon footprint and is poised to achieving its nationally determined contribution target of reducing emission levels by 7.8 per cent.

Williams was speaking at Uncut Conversations on Climate Change, an event organised by the climate change branch of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel in St Andrew on Wednesday.

The minister said the aim is to trim carbon dioxide levels in the environment from 13 million tonnes to 12 million tonnes by 2030.

“We have made tremendous strides in our renewable energy efforts and in our carbon dioxide avoiding, including the installation of a 37-megawatt energy wind facility and expansion of the Wigton Windfarm, which now has the capacity of 63 megawatts. There is also a 20-megawatt solar plant, which is operational in Content, Clarendon.”

Through the operations of Wigton phase one to three in Manchester, the minister indicated that over one million tonnes of carbon dioxide has been avoided. For BMR Jamaica Wind Farm in Malvern, St Elizabeth, Williams said last year, 66,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide was avoided.

In the case of Content Solar in Clarendon, she anticipates that from that project, carbon emissions should be reduced by 35,000 tonnes in the first year and more than 800,000 tonnes over the useful life of the plant.

“Other projects are also under way. The Jamaica Public Service’s Bogue Plant has been converted to natural gas. In the electricity-generating sector, once the new 190-megawatt power plant comes on stream in Old Harbour, this will help the national emission reduction and diversification efforts. At the ministry, we are doing the work to advance the introduction of electric vehicles.

“I am aware of the efforts in the private sector to use compressed natural gas as alternative fuel in the transport sector. These augur well for our country, as we move towards meeting the nationally determined contribution target,” the minister highlighted.