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Finding solutions for Jamaica’s Energy Sector Challenges (Part II)


Panelists (left to right): Mr. Fitzroy Vidal – Director of Energy, Ministry of Science,  Technology, Energy and Mining (MSTEM), Dr. Ruth Potopsingh – Assoc. VP, University of Technology (UTECH) & IDB ConSOC Member, Mr. Christopher Brown – Business Development Manager,  Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), and Mrs. Pauline Wilson  – General Manager  Pioneer Meats,  (IDB/DBJ Grant Recipient)

The second part of the workshop focused on energy efficiency (EE).  Dr. Earl Green, IDB Consultant from Sustainable Energy & Engineering Ltd. presented preliminary results from the recently concluded IDB/DBJ  Energy Efficiency Pilot Projects study on energy efficiency for  Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) in Jamaica (JA-T1031).  Preliminary results show that EE measures applied to SME’s can be good investments with low payback times, depending on the efficiency of project execution. The chart below shows some simple pay-back times for the pilot projects. They systems with the longest payback times, e.g. worst economics (BT, Footprints and Sunrise) are the rooftop solar projects!  The IDB is developing a technical note on the project which will present the results in detail. The report is scheduled for publication in the 4th quarter 2015.

1s  Source: IDB Report on EE for SME’s

Panel Discussion – Finding solutions for Jamaica’s Energy Sector Challenges

The workshop closed with a panel discussion focused on finding solutions for the high cost of energy.  Mr. Fitzroy Vidal from Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, made a strong presentation highlighting the fact that Jamaica is moving aggressively to expand the renewable energy options for electricity generation.  The government has recently signed contracts for large scale generation using wind and solar power.  Additionally, there are ongoing efforts to procure natural gas to lessen Jamaica’s reliance on diesel fuel.   Dr. Potopsingh highlighted the efforts underway at UTech to train the engineers and technicians required to build and maintain the new emerging energy landscape.   Mr. Chris Brown from the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) highlighted the innovative financing programs under way at DBJ, making funding available to energy projects across the small and medium enterprise sector.  Finally, Mrs. Pauline Wilson from Pioneer Meats Products, one of the successful pilot projects grant recipients, focused on the need to build a new culture among the business’ staff in order to guarantee the success of the energy efficiency program.  She pointed out that people are the most important resource in any business and the energy savings program will only be successful to the extent that the people who are responsible to carry it out take ownership of the program.

Many participants wanted a follow up session as they clearly advance the efforts of Jamaican Civil Society to develop a cleaner, more cost effective and sustainable energy matrix, and advance the growth agenda.

3Photo courtesy  by George Scott

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