By Bryan Miller
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (JIS) -- Jamaica’s minister of science, technology, energy and mining, Phillip Paulwell, says he will be re-introducing the Cuba-Jamaica compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) project, as part of the national energy conservation and efficiency plan.
He noted that the initiative, introduced in 2006 as part of a demand reduction plan, had achieved results in terms of saving on energy use.
The project involved the exchange of high energy consuming incandescent light bulbs for energy saving fluorescent bulbs. Hundreds of thousands of Jamaicans benefitted under the project before distribution ended in 2011.
“I am going to resurrect that project. There are still thousands of light bulbs in Cuba destined for Jamaica. We need to get those bulbs here, we are going to install them, we are going to do so in a way that will ensure that we lower our (electricity) usage, and it will be done in a transparent and open manner,” he stated.
Paulwell was addressing the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry breakfast forum on Thursday in Montego Bay, under the theme: ‘Jamaica’s Energy Sector’.
The minister gave a commitment to tackle Jamaica’s energy problem from both the production and consumption fronts, and expressed the hope that the whole country will adopt conservation measures as a mantra.
Citing the energy efficiency project currently being implemented by the government within its offices and agencies, he said this is intended to serve as an example for the general public to follow.
Meanwhile, Paulwell told the businesspeople that by the end of March, there should be some decisive word on the implementation of the proposal for a 360 megawatt generating facility.
He also informed that “we are going to be seeing the 150 megawatts renewable project on stream by June. The tenders should be in, and we intend to allocate the licences shortly thereafter.”
He said so far this year, he has signed off on 23 additional net billing licences bringing the total in place to over 40.
“So, things are happening. We just need now to continue that momentum, and to get the price of electricity down,” Paulwell stated.