The previous target of 30% renewables was set as policy by Cabinet. However, speaking at the handing over ceremony to install solar panels at the Office of Prime Minister yesterday (October 16), Prime Minister Holness said the previous target of 30% renewables to Jamaica’s energy mix was not ambitious enough.
“We are working even harder to a more ambitious target to reach 50% of our electricity generation being from renewables by 2030. Pushing our energy generation to be 50-50 by 2030; fossil fuels and renewables is in our national security interest, in our survival interest,” declared Prime Minister Holness.
He said at present pace the previous target of 30% could be achieved by 2020 if the country remains on track in diversifying its energy use.
He called on all Jamaicans including Government agencies to remain committed to using renewables.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister is calling on Small Island Developing States to embrace renewables in a larger way.
According to Prime Minister Holness, those countries more susceptible to the effects of climate change are SIDS like Jamaica.
“People who will be on the front line of climate change catastrophes will be SIDS like Jamaica. The ignorance of the threat is not just on those who for political or academic reasons decide to be blind it; it is also those who will be directly impacted by it but are too poor to have the information, to process the information, to understand the information and so they exist in ignorant oblivion to what could potentially unfold to their disaster”, explained Prime Minister Holness.
Mr Holness said SIDS must, therefore, encourage inclusiveness in matters pertaining to climate change.
“It behoves members of Small Island Developing States to bring their population along to the conversation about climate change to explain to them what is happening but to also take the proactive steps in ensuring that we can recover from climate change disasters. In other words, we have to take steps not just so that we can adopt, not just so that we can adapt new technology but so that we are resilient, that we can recover and survive,” explained Mr Holness.
The installation of solar panels at the OPM was done through a partnership with the National Energy Solutions Limited (NESOL), the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), the international non-profit group Solar Head of State and the Clinton Foundation.
The installation of the panels at the OPM will result in a diversified energy mix and a reduction in electricity costs.