November 12, 2011

Jamaica: New national electric policy with a focus on renewables in the works

Senior Director of Energy in the Ministry of Energy and Mining, Fitzroy Vidal,   has informed that the Ministry is currently working on a national electricity policy.

Speaking at a panel discussion on Jamaica's energy future, held on November 10, at the University of Technology (UTech), Mr. Vidal said the policy would be categorised as the sixth sub policy of the National Energy Policy.

The other five sub policies include: the National Renewable Energy Policy, National Energy from Waste Policy, Energy Conservation and Efficiency Policy, Biofuels Policy, and the Trading of Carbon Credits Policy.

"The electricity policy is behind the others and that was very deliberate. We felt it was necessary to understand all the parameters involved on the renewable energy side, the waste energy side, the bio fuel side and then we can build into the electricity policy lessons we are learning from these other sub policies," Mr. Vidal said.

He further pointed out that the electricity policy will lead to the modernisation of the Electricity Act.

"The fact is that the Act which governs the electricity sector is archaic goes back to 1890 and it needs to be seriously modernised. Save for some token amendments over the years, we are going to modernise it completely," Mr. Vidal stated.

In the meantime, the Senior Director said that shortly, the Ministry will be launching a national energy information clearing house.

"We are trying to implement the energy policy through an information database mechanism, so we are launching the national energy information clearing house which is the place where you will get all the information you want on what we have done, and what we are doing and how the opportunities are unfolding for the private and business sector," Mr. Vidal said.

The National Energy Policy aims to create a modern, efficient, diversified, and environmentally friendly energy sector, providing affordable and accessible energy supplies.

It proposes priority attention to seven key areas: energy conservation and efficiency; modernising the country's energy infrastructure; developing renewable energy sources; securing energy supply through diversification of fuels; developing a comprehensive governance/regulatory framework; and enabling government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to be leaders of energy management; and eco-efficiency in industries.


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