Going Green: Jamaican Gov’t shifting from heavy fuels to renewables

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Fayval Williams, says the Government is committed to transitioning away from fuels that are not environmentally-friendly to using more renewable sources.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams, looks on as General Manager of Wigton Wind Farm, Earl Barrett, points out something of interest, during a tour of the facility in Manchester on December 13

She noted that the objective is to preserve the environment while lowering the country’s oil bill.  

“The Government has set a target of 30 per cent of renewables for electricity generation by 2030”

Mrs Williams, who was speaking during a tour of the Wigton Wind Farm in Rose Hill, Manchester, on Friday (Dec 13), said that for many years, Jamaica has relied on high-sulphur diesel oils to generate electricity, which is bad for the environment, expensive, has to be imported, and is subject to price volatility.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams (right), turns the knob on a piece of equipment used in generating solar energy, under the guidance of Service Engineer at Wigton Wind Farm, Joel Lewinson. Occasion was a tour of the wind farm in Rose Hill, Manchester, on December 13.

“It is important that we transition away from that fuel to generate electricity to using what God has given us… wind, sun and water and even waste,” she noted.

The Minister said that Wigton has a key role to play in enabling Jamaica to achieve its targets for incorporating renewable sources in the local energy mix.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams (right), looks on as Training Lab Coordinator at Wigton Wind Farm, Sanja Simmonds (left), points out features of a tool kit used in generating wind and solar energy, during a tour of the facility in Manchester on December 13. At centre is General Manager at Wigton, Earl Barrett.

The Government has set a target of 30 per cent of renewables for electricity generation by 2030, and by 2020, is expected to generate 18 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources.

Wigton, which was started in 2004, has been expanded over time, and the facility now generates enough electricity to serve 81,000 homes across Jamaica.

— JIS