Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Project Launch, Remarks by UNDP Resident Representative Bruno PouezatNov 30, 2016
Mr Bruno Pouezat, UNDP Resident Representative
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in the Public Sector Project
Wednesday, November 30, 5:00 p.m., PCJ Building
Dr the Honourable Andrew Wheatley, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology
Dr. Peter Ruddock, PCJ’s Manager of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Department representing Mr Winston Watson, Group Managing Director, Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica
Mr Milverton Reynolds, Managing Director, Development Bank of Jamaica
Mr Wayne Wesley, Executive Director, HEART Trust/NTA
Ms Maura Barry, Mission Director USAID
Ms. Therese Turner Jones, General Manager, Country Department Caribbean Group, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
Ms. Galina Sotirova, World Bank Country Manager for Jamaica
Distinguished representatives of the public and private sectors
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,
I am pleased to welcome you to the launch of the project Renewable Energy and Improvement of Energy Efficiency in the Public Sector, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in collaboration with the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ).
In line with Jamaica’s strategy to reduce high energy costs in the public sector, this US$ 12 million project will introduce renewable energy and boost energy efficiency in Jamaica's health sector. In the process, the project’s partnership platform will reduce duplication of effort among Jamaica’s international development partners and Government agencies, build efficiencies in project delivery and increase the pool of resources available for implementation. We wish to acknowledge all project partners contributing cash and in kind resources, including our major funding partners, the Global Environment Fund (GEF5) and PCJ, but also the Development Bank of Jamaica, the Ministry of Health and the Jamaica Productivity Centre.
Rising energy costs siphon national budgets away from social programmes and the maintenance of state institutions such as hospitals and schools. Health sectors have particularly high heating and cooling requirements, often with high and inefficient levels of power consumption. In 2014, the Government of Jamaica spent 17.5 billion Jamaican dollars on electricity. Six percent of this went to the health sector, making it a priority partner for intervention.
Notwithstanding considerable progress in recent years, regulatory, technical, capacity, knowledge and financial barriers still hinder the scaling up of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Jamaica. The project will contribute to addressing some of these barriers.
Among the financial barriers, the upfront investment costs of renewable energy or energy-efficient retrofits present a challenge for many potential customers including governments worldwide. Energy Performance Contracting has become a widespread solution to public sector financing globally and the largest in the United States. Energy Performance Contracting is a turnkey service that offers customers selective or comprehensive energy-efficiency and renewable energy measures.
At the core of the EPC market are Energy Service Companies (ESCOs). ESCOs can help public entities overcome local governments’ lack of time and expertise to identify and implement appropriate building upgrades. In Jamaica and across the Caribbean, while some service providers already call themselves ESCOs, they typically provide only some of the services of a full ESCO. In particular none uses Energy Performance Contracting to provide turnkey renewable energy and energy-efficiency services. A component of this project will demonstrate an Energy Performance Contracting model in two to six public hospitals/clinics throughout Jamaica.
The high cost of energy is a barrier to human development, and access to sustainable energy is critical to lifting people out of poverty and hunger, enhancing food security and improving the quality of life for all. Sustainable Development Goal No. 7 give us 14 years to secure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services; to increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix; and to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency. This project’s projected outputs in Jamaica will answer universal calls for access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030.
We believe that this project will help Jamaica’s energy sector contribute to the achievement of the country’s targets related to sustainable energy as well as to the global goals. At present, Jamaica is 90% dependent on fossil fuels for its energy needs. The National Energy Policy aims for more than 20 per cent of Jamaica’s overall energy supply and 30% of the electricity supply mix (up from 6.1% today) to come from renewable sources by 2030. These targets are not only achievable, they are critical to Jamaica’s human development aspirations. I wish to reiterate UNDP’s continued commitment to supporting the Government and people of Jamaica in achieving these goals.
Now is the time to advance Jamaica’s energy plans. Volatility in world fossil fuel prices continues to adversely impact Jamaica’s households and the country’s economy. Reliable, renewable sources of energy will help minimize the impact of oil prices fluctuations and benefit the economy, with positive trickle-down effects into the average householder’s pocket.
UNDP and its partners are optimistic about this landmark project and its potential to demonstrate how best to expand renewable energy and energy efficiency in Jamaica and, by extension, to benefit the economy of Jamaica and the quality of life of the Jamaican people.
In conclusion, I recall the words of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2010 calling for “a global clean energy revolution”. He said: “Energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, increased social equity and an environment that allows the world to thrive”. We look forward to working with all of our partners in securing these ideals for the benefit of Jamaica and its people.