Government of Jamaica wants to increase energy security including renewable sources on the island

News > The Caribbean

By STEM Caribbean | Posted on November 14, 2020

According to a statement by the Jamaican Government, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Daryl Vaz says that the Government plans to procure up to 268 megawatts of renewable energy in Jamaica by 2025. The renewable energy sources would include solar and wind technologies and 70 megawatts from hydro, biomass, and waste technologies.    

The Government says this goal aligns with the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), a 20-year road map for Jamaica’s electricity investment sector. This plan’s objectives envision that renewable energy will contribute to 33% of electricity generated on the island by 2030 and 50% by 2037, the Government notes.    

During the recent Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum, Minister Diaz stated that his priority is to get the procurement process started.   

“It is my priority to have the Generation Procurement Entity established and given a charge to expedite the procurement process. Their first order of priority will be to define the rules and protocols to govern procurement,” Minister Vaz said.   

He also noted that the IRP would involve some US$2.8 billion in investments towards enhancing Jamaica’s energy sector. Presently, 17 renewable energy projects in Jamaica generate electricity at the utility-scale level, says the Government. Together, these projects generated 473,601 megawatts hours (roughly 54 megawatts) of electricity in 2019, the Government notes.    

Mr. Vaz called on countries in the Caribbean region to work together and improve the region’s renewable energy sector.   

“It is imperative that as countries across the region, we collaborate and develop our renewable energy capacities and systems in an effort to guarantee the quality of life of our peoples and strong economies,” he stated.  

“So crucial are these efforts in renewables, that the International Renewable Agency (IRENA) forecasts that doubling the share of renewables in the global energy mix by 2030, would increase global gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 1.1 percent or US$1.3 trillion and increase direct and indirect employment in the renewable sector to 24.4 million by 2030,” he highlighted.   

Mr. Vaz also noted that Jamaica intends to diversify its fuel sources to increase energy security and make the country less dependent on imported fossil fuels.   

According to a recent fuel report released by the International Energy Agency, renewables will surpass coal and become the largest source of electricity generation worldwide in 2025. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has a renewable energy goal of 40% usage by 2030. 

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