Worldwatch Institute Launches Sustainable Jamaica Initiative

by | Nov 7, 2013

worldwatch2The Worldwatch Institute has launched its Sustainable Energy Roadmap for Jamaica, a look at the measures that the Jamaican government can take to transition its electricity sector to one that is socially, environmentally, and financially sustainable.

Jamaica Sustainable Energy Roadmap: Pathways to an Affordable, Reliable, Low-Emission Electricity System, analyzes the potential for energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment in Jamaica and discusses the social and economic impacts of alternative energy pathways, concluding that a scenario of high renewable penetration can bring significant savings, greater energy security, gains in competitiveness, and many other important benefits to the country.

The Jamaican government, with whom Worldwatch worked closely on the project, has set a nationwide goal of 20 percent renewable energy use by 2030. Worldwatch says the roadmap will help to realize this goal.

However, Worldwatch says the bar can, and should, be set much higher: Jamaica can become a zero-carbon island in a matter of decades, and its people would benefit enormously from such a transition, according to the WI.

Supported by the International Climate Initiative of the German Ministry of the Environment, the Roadmap compares the full societal costs of Jamaica’s current electricity sector to the costs of alternative pathways that are based on high shares of domestic renewable energy. The report concludes that Jamaica will benefit economically, socially, and environmentally if it relies more heavily on renewable energy sources and less on fossil fuels.

Based on analysis of Jamaica’s investment environment, the Roadmap suggests regulatory and institutional changes that will be necessary to attract new investments in clean energy solutions.

Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, Granada, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago — in a $12.4 million energy for sustainable development project that will focus on slashing greenhouse gas emissions, IPS News reported in August. Chief among the measures are boosting the capacity for energy audits, launching new building codes, labeling appliances as energy saving and setting best practice benchmarks for companies to lower their energy usage.

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