Jamaica less susceptible to oil price volatility due to aggressive push towards energy diversification —Audley Shaw

Industry and Commerce Minister Audley Shaw.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw said that the early decision to move aggressively towards energy diversification makes Jamaica less susceptible to the volatility of oil prices in the global market.

“I want to remind that this is why we took the decision to move aggressively into energy diversification,” says Shaw in reference to the current increase in oil prices on the world market.

“You will recall that the power that we use through the largest user—the Jamaica Public Service—amounts to over 700 megawatts of energy. Prior to the move to diversification, all of that was essentially being used from oil. What we have here now is a very, very, aggressive programme of energy diversification. You will again recall that 120 megawatts of the old oil system in Bogue, St James was actually converted to liquefied natural gas (LNG) which is now being operated by New Fortress Energy,” he added.

Eco LED light bulb with solar panel and wind turbine. The concept of sustainable resources.

He, however, noted that while the energy options will not be reflected at the pumps which are still dictated by what goes on globally as it relates to the price of oil, Jamaica will still be proactive in its thinking outside the box approach to bring the best prices to consumers.

He said: “That is the next stage now where we have to be thinking outside the box. We have to become more creative. We have to look at measures like introducing electric cars into the system and also to keep an eye on a pilot project that the Ministry of Transport is doing as it relates to test the use of LNG on five of its buses.”