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KSAMC urged to promote use of renewable energy

Monday, June 19, 2017

A resolution urging the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) to provide incentives that would encourage the use of renewable energy in the municipality was passed at last Tuesday's meeting of the council.

Pointing out that Jamaica's high energy costs ranked the island 112th globally, the resolution, moved by Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Councillor Duane Smith of the Chancery Hall Division, argued that the implementation of renewable energy structures would help to create jobs, income and taxes.

Although studies show that more than 90 per cent of Jamaica's energy source is fossil fuels, promotion of the use of renewable technologies could reduce the use of fossil fuel in energy generation in Kingston and St Andrew, the resolution stated.

The resolution suggested that municipal solar projects and energy efficiency upgrades were ideas worth exploring to achieve the clean objective. Meanwhile, Smith, in making the case for the promotion of clean energy use in the municipality, made a suggestion as to how the KSAMC could achieve this.

He said that a renewable Energy systems team could be established by the KSAMC to oversee the implementation of the policy and to ensure that the council operates efficiently.

“We can start by giving a partial exemption to residential properties that use renewable energy systems, at a percentage to be determined, and possibly priority processing of permits where renewable energy systems are used,” he said.

“Let us make our city energy efficient as we work together as a council to make Kingston great again,” Smith said.

The resolution stated that the KSAMC should seek the support of other municipal corporations to urge the Government to move, with urgency, to introduce incentives to encourage the use of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, thermal, and geothermal.

These energy sources would reduce costs for residents as well as the threat of climate change, the resolution continued.

The resolution was seconded by JLP Councillor for the Hughenden Division Andrew Harris.

— Claudienne Edwards