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Solar Energy Ideal Option for Many Jamaicans

first_img By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter RelatedSolar Energy Ideal Option for Many Jamaicans FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail With the increase in oil prices and ultimately electricity bills, for many Jamaicans, solar energy can prove to be an ideal source of power for homes and businesses. To this end, the Government has been encouraging Jamaicans to use renewable energy, such as solar energy, as a means of reducing electricity cost. Senior Energy Engineer in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM), Gerald Lindo, tells JIS News that there are two ways in which to install a solar system in homes or businesses and still reap the benefits. “You can put the solar panels on your roof, have them connected to some batteries that feed into your local needs at your house or your small business, or you can have a grid-type system to (show) that you are connected to your solar panel and you are connected to the electricity grid as well,” Mr. Lindo explains. He explains that when the solar panels are active and the sun is shining, energy or electricity is being produced from the solar panels. “When there is cloud cover  or it’s night, you switch back in a dynamic way to the grid, so you are drawing either from the panels or from the grid. That way the grid acts as your back up. The grid style system is a lot cheaper for people to implement generally, because batteries are very expensive and they tend to wear out over time. It is usually more economical, even though you are never truly  independent of  the  Jamaica Public Service (JPS),” Mr. Lindo states. The Senior Engineer points out that since the user will be tied to the grid, the consumer will be feeding electricity back into the grid and hence a licence will be needed by the consumer. “We want people to use this. We did develop a standard offer contract in September of 2011 that was headed up by the Office of Utilities Regulations (OUR), which  sets out the regulatory terms by which a person can  generate solar energy and really any renewable energy source, but solar is the one we think people will desire the most,” Mr. Lindo tells JIS News. “It allows for people who are generating electricity through renewable means to connect to the grid. Not only can they use the grid as a back-up, but in times when they are generating more electricity than they need, they can sell power to JPS and get some remuneration, and that again will help to defray the cost of putting the system on their roof,” he adds. Mr. Lindo notes that the Bureau of Standards Jamaica is currently working on standards for the interconnections. In the meantime, he says there are a number of ways in which persons can acquire solar energy equipment without having to bear all the cost at once. “One of them is a loan through the National Housing Trust (NHT). The NHT has offered solar loans since 2006 for solar water heaters and in 2008 for photovoltaic panels. We applaud the NHT for what they are doing (but) we think there are ways they can adjust the loan to further optimise it and make it available for people, because the uptake of the loan has perhaps not been as aggressive as one would hope, but we’re working on it to make the loan even more attractive,”  Mr. Lindo says. He  points out that the NHT has the lowest rates and the best terms in the marketplace and “we want more people accessing that, so that they can put some solar panels on their roof.” “We have been engaging the NHT since late last year regarding that, and we continue to do so,” Mr. Lindo says. The NHT provides financing to contributors for installation and retrofitting of solar heating systems. The loan is available to contributors who can provide a title for a residential property or who has at least enough funds in their Contribution Account at the NHT equal to the cost of the system, plus $20,000. The loan can be obtained at an interest rate of 3 per cent over a maximum period of 5 years with a 5 per cent service charge. The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) also has loans available which can assist in buying solar energy equipment. The funds that are available through the DBJ are provided by  the World Bank. “One of the flagship projects we have at the Ministry is the Energy Security and Efficiency Enhancement Project. It’s US$15 million and is devoted to improving the regulatory conditions for energy in the country and a good deal of that money was set aside for the DBJ to lend to businesses to do their energy projects,” Mr. Lindo says. President of the Jamaica Solar Energy Association, Roger Chang, says with these institutions available to provide financing, more Jamaicans can invest in solar energy equipment for their commercial and residential use. “What that means is every consumer of electricity in this country, every JPS customer can now put in a solar panel system for little or no money and the formula still holds true for any size system. When you run the numbers the payback time will always work out to about four years. However, if you finance it for about 5 to 6 years, there is some variation with each installation… your payback will be less than, or about the same as your current JPS bill,” Mr. Chang says. In the meantime, Mr. Lindo tells JIS News that there are many advantages in using solar energy as the main source of power for homes and businesses. “You will be making money from it…it’s a generator and you will be able to sell from the grid. Other benefits include reduced consumption, so you have a less of an energy bill at the end of the month. In terms of the broader systems wide implications, because renewable energy, solar energy in particular, doesn’t have any fuel cost associated with it, the more renewable energy you get on the Jamaican grid, there will be  less overall fuel costs,” he adds. So, while the Government  continues to set policy  that encourages more use of solar energy,  Jamaicans are being urged to take advantage  of the loan opportunities available  for acquiring the equipment. Solar Energy Ideal Option for Many Jamaicans TechnologyMarch 30, 2012 RelatedSolar Energy Ideal Option for Many Jamaicans Advertisements RelatedSolar Energy Ideal Option for Many Jamaicanslast_img read more

Locals invited to COVID memorial event Monday

first_imgHomeLifeHealthCovid-19Locals invited to COVID memorial event Monday Feb. 27, 2021 at 6:00 amCovid-19FeaturedHealthLifeNewsLocals invited to COVID memorial event MondayBrennon Dixson3 months agoCOVID DeathsCOVID-19memorialpandemic COVID-19 has touched the lives of Americans from coast to coast since the first casualty was recorded last March. To honor those who have lost their life or a loved one from COVID, community members have planned a COVID Memorial Day event at Bergamot Station Monday afternoon.The local event occurring at the Building Bridges Art Exchange from noon to 3 p.m. is part of a larger grassroots effort that began with the organization #MarkedByCovid, which was co-founded by Arizona resident Kristin Urquiza after her father died from COVID.“She created this organization with all of these volunteers who work on different causes relating to government and community action,” Santa Monica resident Carolyn Freyer-Jones said. “And now, she’s leading up a charge to create a national COVID Memorial Day.”After losing her father from COVID last July and starting a similar effort of her own named #thefridayminute shortly after, Freyer-Jones said there was no doubt in her mind she wanted to get involved in Monday’s efforts when she learned about them.“Every Friday, we have people from all over the world gather virtually with me online and we do a minute of silence for anyone who’s dealing with COVID in any way. And, since I’m on social media so much… I found this floral artist in New York, whose name is Christina Libby; and she started laying out these floral wreaths in locations all over New York for anybody who is grieving from COVID to come and just put pictures of their loved ones,” she said.“And then locally, we have artist Marcos Lutyens and the Rose River Memorial art project where people handmake felt roses for every single person who’s passed from COVID and he intends to have every person represented,” Freyer-Jones added as she detailed how Girl Scouts, Kiwanis, and even her own daughter are making roses to send to Lutyens.“There are rose memorial projects in a few California cities but there’s one really close to us at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, so the effort on Monday will be there and everybody in the 100 different cities will use their events, wherever they’ll be, as a time to come together,” Freyer-Jones said, stating, “I think it’s important to be a part of this grassroots effort because we should be creating memorials around the country to send the message of ‘these deaths matter.’”As she discussed how many around the country have been denied the ability to hold a service for their loved ones and the different ways the pandemic has impacted her family, Freyer-Jones said she knows she is not alone so she invited everybody to come feel the love Monday.“This is the work of a number of grassroots efforts all over the United States so you know you’ll leave feeling part of something bigger,” Freyer-Jones said. “We’ll have a floral wreath and it will be really stunning and moving; I’m excited.”[email protected] :COVID DeathsCOVID-19memorialpandemicshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentEditorial: Thoughts on school openingResidents beg L.A. city services to remove burnt out RV ‘drug den’ on Rose AveYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall5 hours agoEntertainmentLifeNoteworthyTales of Two DaughtersCharles Andrews11 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson16 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter16 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor16 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press16 hours agolast_img read more