Jamaica Focusses on Developing Renewable Energy

Jamaica has been making significant strides in boosting the diversification of its energy sector, as the government looks to implement the island’s ambitious Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

August 10, 2021. By News Bureau

Jamaica has been making significant strides in boosting the diversification of its energy sector, as the government looks to implement the island’s ambitious Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

The initiative has set a goal of adding around 1,600 MW of generation capacity over the next 20 years to expand the island’s energy resources.
 
The aim is to facilitate reduced energy prices, and decrease vulnerability of the energy sector to external shocks such as oil prices. The IRP creates business opportunities in the form of requests for proposals (RFPs) that seek investors to fulfill the demand for more energy generation.

The IRP’s targets include 1260 MW of wind and solar, 330 MW of liquid natural gas (LNG), and 74 MW of hydro, biomass or waste energy by the year 2037. JAMPRO, Jamaica’s investment promotions agency, is tasked with securing the local and foreign investment that will drive the plan’s success, and the achievement of these targets.

The island is well on its way. Jamaica wants to have 33 per cent of electricity generation from renewables by 2030, and there are already impressive renewable energy projects on the island that are proving to be a strong foundation for the country’s energy resource plan.

Don Gittens, JAMPRO’s Manager of Logistics, Energy, and Infrastructure, said “Current renewable energy projects represent approximately 14 per cent of energy generation in Jamaica, but our target is 50 per cent. There is therefore a significant opportunity because we have that gap between 14 per cent and 50 per cent that we intend to fill with additional renewable energy investments.”

Jamaica is currently seeking to procure 320 MW of wind and solar, 120 MW of LNG and 74 MW of hydro, biomass or waste energy for this year. Gittens elaborated, “That is the opportunity that exists right now for investors, so, these are very exciting times.”

According to JAMPRO, there is serious interest in Jamaica’s energy sector. The Agency is entertaining several local and international investors who are interested in partaking in the RFP that is to come with the aforementioned energy generation opportunities.

Diane Edwards, President of JAMPRO, said, “While there was a feeling of uncertainty, especially at the beginning of the pandemic, we knew that we had to continue to nurture our relationships and the renewable energy opportunity in Jamaica, and increase our marketing activities. COVID-19 re-emphasised the fact that sectors like logistics, energy, and agriculture must be major priorities, so the Jamaican government really used this time to identify the areas that needed even more focus as we continue Jamaica’s development.”

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