KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday September 28, 2017 – Principal Director in the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, Fitzroy Vidal, says a new Integrated Resource Plan for the energy sector will guide households and business owners on how to lower the overall cost they incur annually on electricity consumption.
The plan, which will foster the development of a modern energy sector in Jamaica, is scheduled to be completed by year end.
“Ultimately, the plan, when implemented, should see a strategic, consistent and sustainable lowering of the price of electricity, which means that more people will have access to affordable electricity,” Vidal said.
“It is an electricity plan for the country’s electricity use. It’s integrated, because it looks at all the key areas in various users of electricity – what is required from medium to long term, the 20-year planning horizon in terms of how the demand will grow in that period, and how will we find clean and renewable energy sources to meet those demands,” he noted further.
Vidal was speaking at an energy forum hosted by the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce recently.
He noted that the plan is in keeping with the energy objectives of Vision 2030, Jamaica’s National Development Plan.
“The heart of the Energy Vision 2030 is geared towards energy efficiency, renewable-energy development and improving the governance,” he said.
Vidal said the country was “doing fairly well” in achieving the targets.
He cited the passage of the Electricity Act of 2015, which he said “really makes a big difference in how the key stakeholders relate with each other and how they carry out their business”.
The law provides a modern codified system of regulating the generation, transmission, supply, distribution and dispatch of electricity.
It promotes transparency among participants in the electricity sector; clarifies their roles and responsibilities; facilitates efficient and sustainable development of the sector, supported by adequate levels of investment; promotes energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources; prescribes the required standards in the electricity sector; ensures the safety of the public; and provides transparency in regulation.
Vidal said there are seven priority areas for Energy Vision 2030: energy conservation efficiency throughout the entire country; modernizing the energy infrastructure; developing energy-renewable sources; fuel diversification; improving the governance framework; creating a government model for efficient and cost-effective energy use; and encouraging industries to make them more keen on renewable-energy technologies.