Jamaica relies primarily on imported fossil fuels for power generation, exposing the country to international oil price fluctuations, and places additional pressure on other financial needs of the country. The high cost of electricity (twice of the average cost in the US) is also driven by inefficient power generators and a distribution system that suffers from commercial losses. Jamaica has 2.72 million people, and 85% has access to electricity.
To address these challenges, the government’s National Energy Policy 2009-2030 is calling for a diversifying its energy mix by increasing the development of renewable sources, improve the efficiency of the energy sector, reduce the cost of electricity, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and define and implement regulatory frameworks to address the negative impact high energy costs has on the country’s economy.
Funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, the NRECA International team developed and provided a comprehensive rural electrification plan to help the country achieve its electrification goals. To do this, the team:
- Reviewed existing relevant energy data and reports within the energy sector.
- Assessed households that did not have electricity access and provided viable options on reaching these populations.
- Assessed available technical, financial, economic, social and environmental conditions that could provide access to these unserved communities in the medium to long-term to include grid extensions, micro-grid, solar photovoltaic systems or other renewable options.
- Performed a technical and socio-economic study of electricity access in Jamaica, and produced recommendations on the community social and economic conditions that impact a household’s willingness to pay for electricity, and investor risks towards the sustainability of any proposed total electricity access program.
- Identified roles and responsibilities of key government agencies to inform total electricity access policies, and the guidelines for their cooperation and collaboration.
- Inter-American Development Bank