Jamaica has abundant renewable energy sources (RES), which have hardly been tapped in the past and could provide for large shares of the future energy requirements. In 2005, around 5% of the expected 4,020 GWh of electricity produced will be based on RES (wind and hydropower). With the new planned target of a share of 15% RES electricity by 2012, a combined renewable capacity of about 175 MW would need to be installed in that year. There is further wind potential on Jamaica, even if no exact figures can be given on the magnitude of the exploitable wind potential. Nonetheless, it seems realistic that within the next years three more wind farms of about 20 MW each could be erected. Several hydropower sites have been examined in the past with all but one being of minor scale. New hydropower plants can be economical under current conditions if generation costs do not exceed about 6 US-cents per kWh. One of the largest renewable energy potentials for electricity generation is to be found in the sugar processing industry. With the installation of new high-pressure boilers and improvements in the energy efficiency of the sugar plants, more than 220 GWh/year of excess electricity could be supplied to the public grid. Up to 10% of gasoline can be substituted by bioethanol or its derivate ETBE without modifications to the vehicle engines. Most favourable for bioethanol production in the case of Jamaica is the use of sugar cane. Currently solar water heaters cover only about 1% of the domestic market (private houses An estimated 75 to 100 GWh of electricity could be saved annually, if only the 45,000 residential homes with the highest electricity demand would use solar water heaters. In order to achieve the long-term RES goals, the existing potentials will need to be better identified and located, using on-site assessments and long-term measurements if appropriate. Such pre-feasibility studies will require the involvement of private investors at an early stage. To smooth administrative procedures and attract foreign investment, the establishment of a one-stop agency as central contact point is proposed. Financial and fiscal incentives GCT waiver or reduced duty taxes can lower the threshold for investments with high up-front costs.
División de Desarrollo Productivo y Empresarial (DDPE) Casilla 179 D, Santiago - Chile Tel: (56-2) 210 2239- Fax: (56-2) 210 2550