File photo: Installation of solar panels at St Andrew Settlement Centre in Majesty Gardens, St Andrew.

More than 150 of Jamaica’s health sector employees are participating in a series of technical training and sensitization workshops starting Tuesday 11 February, as part of a major initiative to reduce energy bills in the health sector and across the nation’s public sector.

The two technical training and two sensitization sessions are scheduled for Kingston, Mandeville and Montego Bay, and will include workers from six major public hospitals, several clinics and related ministries, departments and agencies across the nation.

The workshops will prepare hospitals to receive and manage renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies being purchased under the USD $3.1 million  “Deployment of Renewable Energy and Improvement of Energy Efficiency in the Public-Sector project” implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Jamaica in partnership with the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The project aims to advance a low carbon development path and reduce Jamaica’s public-sector energy bill through the introduction of renewable energy (RE) and improvement in energy efficiency (EE) in the health sector.  The project is supported by the Government of Jamaica through PCJ, the Development Bank of Jamaica, and other partners.

UNDP Resident Representative a.i., Dr Elsie Laurence-Chounoune said UNDP is pleased to be implementing the project in partnership with government as part of its global package of six signature solutions offered to partner governments in pursuit of ending poverty and securing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). UNDP’s signature solution number five focuses on closing the energy gap, she explained, and this in turn will contribute to the achievement of Jamaica’s Vision 2030 National Development Plan, specifically to its energy security and efficiency goal outcome by introducing efficiencies and Solar PV technologies to select type A and type B hospitals across the nation. She further noted that the project will also contribute to the achievement of the SDGs, especially Goal 7 which establishes a vision of Affordable and Clean Energy.   

The sensitization sessions scheduled for Kingston and Montego Bay will provide participants with greater knowledge of the value of energy management and renewable energy technologies in the health sector, while the technical training sessions scheduled for Wigton Wind Farm in Manchester will facilitate the development of local technical capacities and increase knowledge on energy management and renewable energy technologies, particularly solar PV systems within the Health Sector.  

Hospital and Regional Health Authorities staff responsible for the procurement, installation, and operation & maintenance of RE and EE technology in health facilities will be trained by international consultant Mr. Jacob Kurian from Grue and Hornstrup Consulting Ltd. in a number of related areas including the operation, maintenance and monitoring of solar PV systems, electrical concepts and safety issues, and experience of real-world applications of solar PV systems.

The workshops run from 12 to 21 February 2019.

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