Jamaican renewable energy centre to offer training in bioenergy

A new renewable energy centre in Jamaica has begun offering training courses in renewable energy technologies, including bioenergy, solar, and wind power.

Located in Rose Hill, Manchester Parish, the Wigton Renewable Energy Laboratory was opened on 3 November and will deliver practical and theoretical training in a wide variety of renewable power generation, according to the Jamaica Observer.

Courses are held in bioenergy, solar, thermal, photovoltaic, concentrated solar, wind power, small hydro, fuel cells, and energy conservation.

The goal is to develop the lab into one of the Caribbean’s premier renewable energy training facilities.

Andrew Wheatley, Minister of Science, Energy, and Technology, said the training component of the wind energy facility is part of the Government’s thrust towards capacity building, creating energy solutions, reducing threats to the environment, and growing the economy.

Energy is one of the most critical sectors in Jamaica and acts as the single, important, driving force for all other sectors, according to Wheatley.

He added that it is integrally linked to three dimensions of sustainable development — economic, environmental, and social.

“The way in which energy is supplied largely determines the health and environmental impacts of the sector. Renewables are, therefore, increasingly becoming a part of the national and global solution to combat the effects of climate change, through the avoidance of carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases,” he said.

At the opening ceremony of the new centre, he stressed that Jamaica, as a signatory of the Paris Agreement, must continue to be “a leader for environmental and sustainable sources of energy”.

The resource centre was developed with a $4 million (€27,956) grant from the British High Commission in Jamaica, and support from the Renewables Academy in Germany and the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Fund for International Development.

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