Jamaica’s public health energy consumption bill is expected to decline 22% annually following the installation of solar energy and renewable energy systems at six public hospitals.
Under the Deployment of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in the Public Sector project, grid-tied solar PV systems and LED lighting solutions have been commissioned at May Pen Hospital; National Chest Hospital; and Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre, while LED lightbulbs have been installed at Savanna La Mar Hospital, Black River Hospital and Bellevue Hospital – for a total of 5,672 LED lighting solutions across all six public health facilities.
The disclosure was made during a recent handing over and project closure ceremony signaling the end of the five-year USD 1.2 Million project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Multi Country Office in Jamaica in partnership with Ministry of Health and Wellness, Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology and Development Bank of Jamaica.
Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Daryl Vaz, who disclosed the calculated 22% reduction in the public health sector energy bill, said the project would make a welcome contribution to government’s ongoing efforts to achieve energy security. He said Government remains committed to reducing fossil fuel imports which constitute 90% of Jamaica’s energy mix, resulting in a national oil bill in excess of US One Billion Dollars (US$1b) annually.
“As a Government, we must reduce our spend on imported oil and we must diversify our fuel sources” Minister Vaz stated. “The Government of Jamaica (GOJ) is cognizant that efficient energy use is critical to securing this brighter future. Government ministries and agencies must become models and leaders in energy conservation and environmental stewardship as stipulated by goal 6 of Jamaica’s National Energy Policy,” he said.
Mr Vaz noted that the air conditioning, lighting, and life sustaining equipment used in the health sector account for substantial energy use, and therefore the partnership with the GEF and UNDP represents another significant step towards energy security especially within a critical sector such as health.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Wellness Juliet Cuthbert Flynn expressed gratitude for the energy installations at the six public hospitals and disclosed that energy demands and the energy efficient technologies are being integrated into new design upgrades and rehabilitation of several secondary care facilities.
She called the Deployment of Renewable Energy project a win-win for stakeholders, noting that “the execution of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, and supply and installation of equipment guarantees energy efficiency and renewable energy savings at our health facilities”.
UNDP Resident Representative Denise E Antonio said UNDP welcomed the opportunity to contribute to Jamaica’s development by supporting national efforts to reduce the public sector energy bill while advancing efforts toward low carbon development.
She commended the Government for “the successful implementation and outstanding results attained that have furthered the goal of diversifying the energy mix, increasing the penetration of renewables and promoting energy efficiency. She said these achievements must be expanded so that sustainable universal access can be delivered to and for the benefit of all Jamaicans.
Ms Antonio called on government to further the project’s work to establish a sustainable financing mechanism – the Energy Services Company (ESCO) model - to catalyze and sustain investments in sustainable energy through public private partnerships (PPPs). “With such a mechanism being uncommon in the Caribbean, we believe this is an opportune time for Jamaica to seize this innovative financing model and stand as the pioneer in the region,” the UNDP Resident Representative outlined.
The Deployment of Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) in the Public Sector project adopted a holistic approach focused on building capacity and promulgating a supportive environment for a renewables industry. The project also focused on increasing knowledge in RE and EE for Individuals in the public sector and strengthening institutional capacity to support RE and EE development in Jamaica’s public sector; enabling a supportive legal and regulatory framework to facilitate the deployment of small decentralized RE power generation (notably solar PV) and EE programmes in Jamaica’s public sector; and laying the groundwork for an operational Energy Performance Contracting mechanism to facilitate the development of ESCOs (Energy Service Companies) and their viability to support RE and EE scale-up in the public sector of Jamaica.
Contact: Gillian Scott, UNDP Communications Analyst, Kingston office, 1 -3 Lady Musgrave Road, Kingston 5, Jamaica. Tel: 876 978 2390 – 9 Ext 2032; Mobile and WhatsApp: 876 509 0724; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org