Tag: Renewable energy

Sophia Harris-Lau, managing director, PalisadeCE Jamaica Ltd. - Rudolph Brown/Photographer
Sophia Harris-Lau, managing director, PalisadeCE Jamaica Ltd. – Rudolph Brown/Photographer

Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer

With the high cost of electricity, many Jamaicans are trying to find alternative ways to conserve energy. But there are also persons in some parts of the island who do not have access to electricity and continue to use archaic methods for lighting.

Palisade Clean Energy (CE) Jamaica Limited, a subsidiary of the PalisadeCE Group based in Orlando, Florida, now has a viable alternative to these energy issues. The company now has exclusive distributorship for Barefoot Power Products in Jamaica and some parts of the Caribbean.

Barefoot Power products are affordable, safe and healthy alternatives to lighting and phone-charging that assist people in developing countries to access affordable renewable energy with the aim of reducing poverty and creating new markets.

According to Sophia Harris-Lau, managing director of PalisadeCE Jamaica, the Barefoot Power products have been a proven source especially for persons who live in rural areas and have issues relating to reliability and affordability of electricity.

“Jamaica’s cost of electricity is very high and we are making sure that the product is affordable. These types of products are exempt from General Consumption Tax (GCT) and custom charges,” Harris-Lau said.

Used by millions worldwide

Designed in Australia, the products provide durable, convenient and reliable lighting and charging solutions for households and businesses without reliable access to electricity, at affordable prices. The products have provided light to two million people in 22 countries.

“We have seen what these products have done and the impact they have had, especially on persons living in rural communities. There are many potential benefits so we are introducing them to the market,” Harris-Lau said.

With extensive experience in import and export businesses in Jamaica, as well as business development and marketing expertise focusing on goods for middle and lower-income consumers, Harris-Lau told

On a sunny winter day in Nice, France, 40 journalists from all over the world boarded buses to tour what serves as one possible example of a future networked electricity grid. Alstom Energy, the 9th largest electrical equipment supplier in the world, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, had put together a media tour in order to showcase what steps it is doing to understand the grid of the future.

According to Patrick Plas, SVP of Grid Power Electronics and Automation with Alstom Energy, the project sets out to address four challenges facing the grid side of the energy industry today.

Besides promoting four large projects with over 500 Mw of installed capacity each, the government wants to move forward to eliminate bottlenecks for ongoing capacity addition programme for solar power.

Besides promoting four large projects with over 500 MW of installed capacity each, the government wants to move forward to eliminate bottlenecks for ongoing capacity addition programme for solar power.

NEW DELHI: The government is aggressively accelerating the solar energy programme, and aiming for four giant plants of 1,000 MW each. It also wants to bundle solar and conventional power to make renewable energy more affordable.

Giant solar projects may be put up quickly in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh as the new government is keen to promote this source of renewable energy.

To achieve the target of commissioning of 20,000 MW of solar power generation capacity ahead of targeted 2022, the government may redesign Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission while the scope of the Electricity Act 2003 may also expanded to push for higher utilisation of renewable energy. India has commissioned 2,650 MW of solar power generation capacity, which is dominated by Gujarat with close to 1,000 MW.

Besides promoting four large projects with over 500 MW of installed capacity each, the government wants to move forward to eliminate bottlenecks for ongoing capacity addition programme for solar power.

To deal with delays in larger projects, the government has surveyed several sites and cities to assess the potential and viability of solar power in the country that receives adequate radiation during its 300 days of sunny days a year.

Piyush Goyal, minister responsible for three key energy portfolios

John Kistle

John Kistle

WITH renewables expected to account for 20 per cent of the country’s energy mix by 2018, John Kistle, senior vice-president for generation at the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), is worried that this could cause some Jamaicans to pay more for electricity.

According to Kistle, some consumers could be saddled with unnecessary energy cost if the State fails to find the ideal balance between new gas-fired power plants and renewable capacity.

He said the JPS was engaged in an exercise to determine whether Jamaica needs 360 megawatts of new base-load capacity, which the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has determined is the need.

The JPS representative added that it was important for the authorities to decide on the optimal allocation of existing resources, renewables and gas, to determine the lowest cost of energy.

But despite these claims by the JPS senior executive, Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell is insisting that the benefits of a cleaner environment and reduced foreign exchange spending make renewables an attractive option. He also said the cost of generating power from renewables is below US$0.20 per kWh, which is cheaper than fuel oil.

“It is not true to say that price will move with renewables. In fact, as a Government, we want to see 30 per cent renewables by 2030,” Paulwell said while adding that the demand for electricity will increase as prices are lowered. That 30 per cent would be an increase over the 20 per cent set under the National Energy Policy.

“We are anxious to get to at least 30 per cent,” the minister said. However, Kistle said while countries such as Germany have decided to rely primarily on solar power, mainly for environmental reasons, that decision has pushed up the price of electricity for Germans because of the cost of solar generation and storage equipment.

“At some point, adding too much renewables becomes expensive,” Kistle told


The move by Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell to facilitate EWI after the bidding process was closed led to a national controversy, so much so that he has been asked to resign from overseeing the project. His rationale was that he wanted to provide Jamaica with the cheapest energy, being that the EWI promised to supply energy at US$0.1288/kWh.

Our Government need not put its eggs in one basket, as Jamaica should explore renewable sources of energy. Many countries have utilised the use of water (hydroelectricity), the sun (solar energy), and the wind, (mechanical energy). These resources are readily available in Jamaica.

According to a recent

The Jamaica Solar Energy Association says there is need for critical evaluation of the barriers which resulted in what it says was an anaemic response to net billing during the trial period which ended this month.

Net billing allows renewable energy producers to sell excess power to the national grid.

According to the association the net billing policy was a good one and therefore there is need for evaluation of the reasons the offer was not taken up by more players in the renewable energy market.

The association says it has provided substantial recommendations for improvement of the next phase of net billing.

It says these include simplifying the process and improving programme coordination and removing onerous and unnecessary prerequisites for obtaining a standard offer contract with the Jamaica Public Service Company.

The solar energy association says the Office of Utilities Regulations (OUR) should increase the generation capacity, especially for commercial entities and reduce the cost barriers.

The association is urging the OUR to implement these recommendations within the next few months.

Meanwhile, the association says commercial enterprises also await the implementation of power wheeling.

It is calling for the inclusion of renewables in this initiative.

Jamaica Gleaner;

Solar panels

Solar panels

The Jamaica Solar Energy Association is raising concern that there has been no word lately from the Office of Utilities Regulations (OUR) about the procurement for the supply of 115 megawatts of power from renewable energy sources.

The association says it is calling for probity, transparency and urgency in relation to the renewable energy project in light of the problems currently facing the 381 megawatt project.

The OUR has already named three bidders for the supply of 78 megawatts of that power but the association says the regulator has been silent on the next steps since March.

The association is calling for the OUR to ensure due diligence is observed in relation to the 115 megawatt procurement in light of the problems now plaguing the 381 megawatt project.

The Government last week announced that it is looking to revoke the licence issued to Energy World International after it failed to post its performance bond in relation to the project.

EWI has pointed to the refusal by the Inter-American Development Bank to provide funding for the project as one of the reasons it failed to meet the bond deadline.

The IDB is reportedly withholding its support because of alleged procurement breaches in the inclusion of EWI in the bidding process which were highlighted by the Office of the Contractor General.

Now the solar energy association is demanding that the OUR exercise due diligence to determine the technical competence and financial ability of the three bidders for the 115 megawatts project to begin construction in August 2014 for commissioning by July 2016.

The association is demanding that the OUR make public the licences issued for the supply of the renewable energy generation capacity in the same way that the licence to EWI was published.

Meanwhile, the association says the OUR had committed to issuing a new request for proposals for the remaining 37 megawatts of energy for the project in early 2014, but is yet to do so.

It says it is anxiously awaiting the start of the bidding process for those 37 megawatts.

Jamaica Gleaner;


Barbados, for instance, which spends an estimated 400 million dollars annually on fossil fuel imports, has announced plans for a wind, gas and solar energy programme that requires almost one billion dollars in investments.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday January 29, 2014, IPS