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Gov’t Targeting $38 Billion Alternative Energy Investments

Gov’t Targeting $38 Billion Alternative Energy Investments
Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz.

KINGSTON (JIS) -- The Government is anticipating more than J$38 billion (US$300 million) in investments from additional alternative energy projects being targeted for implementation. Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, says these engagements are expected to generate a significant number of jobs while lowering Jamaica’s fossil fuel imports. He was making his 2017/18 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, April 25, under the theme ‘Cementing our Gains… Creating a Prosperous Future’. Mr. Vaz argued that energy is one of the most critical issues facing Jamaica, which needs to be seriously addressed through a collective approach “if we are to achieve any form of sustainable development”. He pointed out that while Jamaica continues to depend heavily on foreign oil “it has become clear that the world is transitioning to a low-emission economy”.

“This decoupling of emissions and growth is driven not just by environmental and climate imperatives but by the deployment of cost-effective technologies that will help the country to save money,” the Minister said.

As such, Mr. Vaz said more renewable energy projects were being pursued, adding that the Administration has established an Enterprise Team to explore the potential for developing a waste-to-energy initiative.

Additionally, he informed that work is being done to explore the use of biofuels in a much larger capacity.

Meanwhile, Mr. Vaz announced that the Meteorological Service and the Climate Change Division are to be merged to form the National Agency for Meteorology and Climate Change Resilience (NAMCCR).

This, he said, is being done to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness.

“The new agency will promote information sharing, streamlined collaboration and strategic focus, resulting in increased productivity and growth within Jamaica. The merger remains a priority for this Government,” Mr. Vaz said.