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Renewable Energy

Renewables FactsToday

Renewable energy, often referred to as clean energy, comes from natural sources or processes that are constantly replenished

While renewable energy is often thought of as a new technology, harnessing nature’s power has long been used for heating, transportation, lighting, and more. Wind has powered boats to sail the seas and windmills to grind grain. The sun has provided warmth during the day and helped kindle fires to last into the evening

But over the past 500 years or so, humans increasingly turned to cheaper, dirtier energy sources such as coal and fracked gas (Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.). 

Now that we have increasingly innovative and less-expensive ways to capture and retain wind and solar energy, renewables are becoming a more important source power. The expansion in renewables is also happening at scales large and small, from rooftop solar panels on homes and businesses, that can sell power back to the grid.

There are other forms of renewables outside of Solar & Wind, namely: Hydro-electric, Biomass, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Geothermal Power (can cause ground water pollution), Ocean.

 Jamaica is not to be left out of the loop where this is concerned:

Headmistress Murray of Hampton Girl’s school, can already see the winds of change from her school—literally—in the form of 11 turbines now spinning on a blustery mountain ridge covered by a patchwork of farms, this is a welcome addition that gives the school a reprieve from the high electricity bills that they used to pay that prevented them from realizing the dream of having a state of the art science lab. These turbines were set up by BMR Jamaica Wind Limited, the largest private sector-led renewable energy project in the country. Located about 90 kilometers west of Kingston, the new project is expected to generate about 120,000 megawatts of energy per year—equivalent to 3 percent of Jamaica’s energy demand—and reach about 15,000 customers.

Another company that has invested in the development of renewable energy in Jamaica is Wigton’s Windfarms. They have been very instrumental in exposing our citizens to Renewable energy and a key component to it all, is that they offer courses to the populace of the country.

As a clean energy facility Wigton’s operations contribute to efforts to preserve the environment and mitigate the effects of climate change. Wind energy generation provides a viable alternative to combustion of traditional fossil fuels which cause greenhouse gas pollution.

The clean energy generated by Wigton reduces Jamaica’s oil consumption by more than 65,000 barrels each year. With the commissioning of Phase III in 2016, it is expected that the oil demand reduction will be approximately 100,000 barrels annually. Wigton’s output also avoids the emittance of almost 90,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Phase III will push that figure to more than 120,000 tonnes.

Wigton was also the first entity in Jamaica to successfully register Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). As a result the company has successfully traded carbon credits under an Emissions Reduction Purchase Agreement (ERPA) with the Dutch Government.

Wigton’s vision is to be a catalyst for increased usage of wind power and other renewable energies for electricity generation. In fulfillment of this goal, the company actively supports the growth of Jamaica’s renewable energy industry by developing human capital.

Since its inception, Wigton has continually provided training for local engineers and other professionals as well as tertiary level engineering students. In 2010, in order to enhance its learning and development programmes, the Wigton Resource Centre was opened at the company’s wind farm complex in Rose Hill, Manchester.

In 2014 the British High Commission in Jamaica provided a grant of close to £27,900 to support the establishment of a renewable energy training lab at the Resource Centre. In addition, the Lab was outfitted with working models from the Renewables Academy (RENAC) in Germany which was financed by a partial grant received from OPEC Fund for International Development in December 2015.

On November 2, 2016 the Wigton Renewable Energy Training Laboratory was officially opened by Dr the Honourable Andrew Wheatley. Wigton’s goal is for the lab to serve as a premier learning facility offering training in several aspects of renewable energy. The curriculum includes practical and theoretical training courses in several areas of renewable energy including:

  • Solar thermal
  • Photovoltaics
  • Wind power
  • Fuel cells
  • Concentrated solar power
  • Energy conservation and measurement
  • Small hydro
  • Bio-energy

The training offered at the Wigton Resource Centre focuses on capacity building and exposure to best practices with emphasis on innovation and efficiency. Curricula will be delivered through workshops, seminars, lectures, courses and practical lab work. Target groups include energy professionals and entrepreneurs, tertiary students and the general public.

With this revolutionary move, more information  needs to be disseminated to the population about these forms of renewable energy. You can be a part of the revolution and the creation of balance in our environment by checking out the solar panels, solar lights and solar water heaters on CaribStore.

Source: NRDCNational GeographicYou MatterInternational Financial CorporationWigton WindFarm

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