Jamaican Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley says the Master’s of Science in Sustainable Energy and Climate Change recently launched at the University of Technology (UTech) will play an important role in Jamaica’s collaboration with CARICOM on green economy development.
“It is a pioneer programme that will graduate critical thinkers, innovators and entrepreneurs in the sustainable energy and green economy fields,” Dr Wheatley told last Tuesday’s Renewable Energy Central America and Caribbean Congress in Panama.
“It is expected that graduates of this master’s programme, which begins in May 2017, should grow our home base of sustainable energy and green economy sector researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs, fitting squarely into the green economy direction Jamaica is heading, and squarely into Government’s development agenda,” the minister said.
He told the congress that as a result of growing interest in the subject, 15.5 per cent of electricity was generated from renewables in 2016, and these new plants are expected to make even greater contributions in 2017.
“I believe the renewable energy bug has more than bitten Jamaica. I have visited many sites, schools and other public institutions that have been retrofitted with alternative energy solutions, such as LED lighting and PV (photovoltaic) systems,” Wheatley said.
In 2016 alone, some 80.0 megawatts of renewable energy generation were commissioned into service in Jamaica, comprising 60.0 megawatts of wind and a 20.0-megawatts solar power plant, he added.
He noted that, having successfully implemented three phases of wind farm solutions up to 63.2 megawatt capacity, the Wigton Windfarm commissioned into service its upgraded resource centre in November, with a modern renewable energy training laboratory, outfitted with working models.
He pointed out that Wigton has also instituted a ‘train the trainers’ programme, to ensure local sustainability for the development of renewable technologies, as it positions itself to serve as a premier renewable energy training facility for the region.
“In addition, I also granted a licence to Eight Rivers Energy Company for the build, own and operation of a 37.0 megawatt solar power plant to be commissioned in 2018, which will further contribute to the decreased dependence on the volatile fossil fuel,” he said.
Dr Wheatley said that between 2012 and 2016, Jamaica cut its importation of oil and, if this continues, the country will be able to save over US$1.7 billion by 2020.
Caribbean Leads Low Carbon Shipping Future
A new centre tasked with promoting technologies and operations to help navigate shipping into a low-carbon future was launched at the University of Trinidad and Tobago.
The centre will cater to the needs of the Caribbean region under the Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre Network (GMN) – a project funded by the European Union (EU) and run by International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The GMN initiative unites carefully selected technology centres into a global network focused on supporting developing countries in activities including development of national energy-efficiency policies for their maritime sectors.
Estimates suggest that ships’ energy consumption and CO2 emissions could be reduced by up to 75% by applying operational measures and implementing existing technologies.
By collaborating with the 16 countries in the region and various forward-thinking institutions, companies and international bodies – the Caribbean centre aims to make its contribution to energy-efficient shipping.
The centre was unveiled by the Honourable Anthony Garcia, Minister of Education of Trinidad and Tobago, and, speaking at the launch event, the country’s Minister of Works and Transport, the Honourable Rohan Sinanan, endorsed the new initiative.
IMO was represented at the event by Stefan Micallef, Director of the Marine Environment Division, and GMN Project Manager – Tamar Barabadze. H.E. Mr. Arend Biesebroek, Ambassador of the European Union to Trinidad and Tobago represented the EU.
The University of Trinidad and Tobago is a multi-campus facility that hosts specialized programmes dedicated to developmental disciplines including maritime capacity building, energy efficiency, environmental studies and marine research. MTCC-Caribbean will be situated within the Chaguaramas Campus which is in the North-Western Peninsula of Trinidad and Tobago.
This news comes after the IMO shared its involvement in the successful first phase completion of a project aimed at improving safety and environmental standards within Bangladesh’s ship-recycling industry.
Global Tech Giant Supports Antigua and Barbuda For ICT Week
Global technology giant Huawei has demonstrated its commitment to supporting the establishment of the Single ICT Space by participating in the CTU’s ICT Week and Symposium – Antigua and Barbuda, from March 21st to 24th, 2017.
“The establishment of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Single ICT Space is a complex undertaking, which presents many challenges, but with political will and commitment to drive the process, it can be accomplished.” Stated Secretary General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) Bernadette Lewis, during her presentation of the Roadmap for the CARICOM ICT Space. Ms. Lewis was addressing the 28th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community on February 17, 2017 in Georgetown, Guyana.
Huawei will present its Smart Caribbean Conference, to explain how new technologies can be effectively applied to improve the quality of citizens’ lives and provide ICT solutions for the challenges in education, healthcare and national security in the Single CARICOM ICT Space. Huawei’s conference is one of many activities of the Week, designed to raise awareness and educate on the single ICT Space and technologies that would make it a reality.
Mr. Che stated: “Globally, urbanization, digitization and recent global unrests have become the driving force for Safer and Smarter Nations. New technologies are reshaping the ICT infrastructure as security, social and economic risks have become a common problem on a global basis. Many countries are seeking ways to resolve these challenges by adapting the use of ICT. Many countries want to improve social and economic opportunities for their citizens and sustainably increase their GDP. Investing in ICT infrastructure can make that happen, however, the key successful factor for a Safer and Smarter Caribbean is Collaboration. We are happy to fully support, in any way we can, the Caribbean Governments’ commitment to the CARICOM Single ICT Space.”
As the platinum sponsor for this event, Huawei will use its extensive global knowledge and experience in developing Smart Cities to share its vision for developing ICT in the Caribbean region in all sectors. Participants will learn how cloud computing, virtualization, Big Data, Geographic Information System, the Internet of Things, and the ecosystem Software Development Kit and other cutting-edge technologies can be used to create comprehensive, end-to-end Smart Caribbean solutions.
The CTU is extending an invitation to Ministers of Finance, Education, ICT/Telecommunications Health, National Security, representatives from Caribbean Government ICT and Telecommunications sectors, Central Bank Governors, ICT and Finance Stakeholders, Executive representatives of Regional inter-governmental organizations, Civil Society and Academia.