Business View Caribbean | May 2019

4 BUSINESS VIEW CARIBBEAN MAY 2019 technologies that must be deployed by Caribbean nations to decarbonize economies, reduce regional fossil fuel use, and combat climate change. “I have directed the government to increase our target from 30 percent to 50 percent and our energy company is totally in agreement. So, I believe that by 2030, Jamaica will be producing more than 50 percent of its electricity from renewables.” Peter Ruddock, Manager of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at the state-owned Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, hailed the Prime Minister’s decision as a step in the right direction. “We do have to look at our indigenous sources, the wind, the sun. It shows good leadership for the office of the Prime Minister to be outfitted with solar panels, which will reduce their consumption,” Ruddock said. Due to a historic lack of diversification of energy resources, Jamaica has been heavily reliant on imported fossils fuels, resulting in CO2 emissions and high electricity prices that are up to four times higher than the United States. Caribbean nations are also vulnerable to hurricanes and extreme weather. Renewable energy increases islands’ resilience, stabilizing electricity supply in the wake of natural disasters. “We emit negligible greenhouse gases but when the impact comes, we are most impacted,” Una May Gordon, Jamaica’s Director for Climate Change, noted. “The Prime Minister believes in what we are doing. He believes that renewable energy has a role and a place in the Jamaica energy mix. A commitment has been made for transformation. We are building the resilience of the country. We have to transform a number of our production processes and the only way to do that is with renewables.” SHOS believes the region’s youth can play a vital role in the climate change fight and has also conducted a solar challenge in partnership with Jamaica-based youth groups, which invited young people from across the island to create innovative communications projects to tell their communities about the benefits of renewable energy. On the heels of a successful