Jamaica’s EPC not a real solution for the Poor to go Renewable Energy

The EPC (Energy performance contracting) mechanism is finally coming to Jamaica. The EPC model will develop a sustainable financing mechanism for renewable energy by removing the upfront cost.

The aim of the EPC is to stimulate Public sector investment in renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies via providing:

  • Financing
  • Expertise
  • Greater accessibility and Transparency

 

Support will be provided via partnerships with:

  • PCJ (Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica ), under the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme)
  • PCJ-implemented Deployment of Renewable Energy and Improvement in Energy Efficiency Project

 

The Energy Efficiency Project is funded by the following bodies:

  • The GEF (Global Environmental Facility)
  • PCJ
  • DBJ (Development Bank of Jamaica)

 

Already a pilot programme using the EPC model is being undertake in the health sector to design and implement their Renewable Energy Solutions, with the aim to have all hospitals in Jamaica on Renewable Energy.

But what exactly is EPC?

Jamaica and the EPC – Public Sector entities get a boost

Energy performance contracting provides customers with a suite of energy-efficiency and renewable energy measures.

These are delivered by an ESCO (Energy Services Company). Services provided by the ESCO are:

  • Energy audits
  • Designing and planning
  • Financing
  • Construction and installation
  • Evaluation and monitoring of energy use

 

According to project officials, ESCOs can help Public Sector entities overcome financial problems, time constraints and lack of expertise. These are problems local governments face in identifying and implementing sustainable energy solutions.

So how is the EPC going to be introduced to Jamaicans?

Jamaica and the EPC – Workshops but no free Energy solutions

In preparation for the pilot programme UNDP and PCJ recently hosted a three-day workshop focused on building the capacity of the team.

The workshop welcomed 20 representatives from:

  • PCJ
  • Development Bank of Jamaica
  • The Jamaica Productivity Centre
  • IDB’s EMEP (Energy Management and Efficiency Programme)

 

The workshop was designed to:

  • Improve understanding of the EPC concept
  • Roles of ESCOs and super ESCOs in implementing sustainable energy financing mechanisms
  • Understanding of the risk mitigations for the development and implementation of EPCs
  • Prepare participants to launch a request for proposal for the pilot

 

The overall aim of the EPC’s is for participants within the public and private sectors to undertake sustainable energy financing schemes, thereby reducing Jamaica’s energy bill. Over the next three (3) months, webinars on the EPC model will be arranged to complement the three-day workshop.

Participants will include:

  • Project developers
  • Potential local ESCOs
  • Financial institutions
  • Academia and other key stakeholders.

 

The capacity-building drive is designed to reduce the knowledge barrier in order to support effective implementation.

Jamaica and the EPC – Free Access to Renewable Energy Solutions needed

UNDP programmes specialist Richard Kelly welcomed the workshop saying that it was a milestone in the journey to reduce the energy bill of Jamaica’s energy-intensive public health sector. Less reliance on fossil fuels reduces the national carbon footprint and leads to additional investments for sustainable development.

Project Manager Tenny Daley noted that the workshop is the first in a series of capacity-building initiatives geared at increasing awareness and technical competence on ESCO operations and in implementing EPC projects. He pointed out that the UNDP was pleased to be an implementing partner in this initiative.

This as it was consistent with its suite of solutions designed to tackle poverty while catalyzing wealth creation and inclusive development.

Hopefully, they will also give ordinary Jamaicans free LED Light bulbs, Solar panel Generators, AC Units that are solar powered, more Solar water Heaters, outdoor solar cooking solutions as well as free wind turbines, as that would ACTUALLY help even more to reduce our Fuel Bill.

Post Author: Lindsworth

Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.