Jamaica Aggressive in Pursuing Renewable Energy Goals
In recent months, much attention has been placed on the Caribbean as a hub of renewable energy development. Now, Jamaica has emerged as a leader in the region, announcing yesterday its goal of doubling its renewable energy capacity.
At a ceremony held in Kingston yesterday, three wind and solar focused companies signed roughly $200 million in power purchase agreements with Jamaica’s only electricity distributor. Two planned wind installations and a solar project are expected to add 80 MW of power to the grid.
Director of Jamaica’s utility regulator Albert Gordon said the country should derive 11 % of its power from renewable sources with the commissioning of the projects in 2016. Currently, renewable energy makes up 6% of Jamaica’s power profile.
This would be a major step forward for the country, as it’s been heavily reliant on imported fuel for energy generation for much of its history. This has lead to soaring electrical costs that take a heavy toll on Jamaican power consumers who pay $.42 per kWh—nearly four times as much as U.S. residents.
“We have been going through some rough times but we are seeing the light,” Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell said.
Jamaica Public Service Co. Ltd. is the utility helming the renewable projects and is committed to helping Jamaica slowly move toward energy independence.
“We are going to have generation that ramps up and down, responds and allows us to get the maximum out of those renewables,” she said.
One of the solar projects is expected to be the largest PV project in the English-speaking Caribbean at 20 MW.
Jamaica is already home to the world’s largest hybrid wind and solar farm, making the country an exciting hub of renewable energy potential.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.