As Jamaicans continue to grapple with rising electricity bills, the government is being urged to move faster in promoting competition in the energy generation business.
Opposition Spokesman on Energy Phillip Paulwell has said despite the move towards more renewable fuels, the anticipated lower costs are not being seen.
He said regulations for liquefied natural gas (LNG) are needed to give more confidence to investors to enter the business.
Mr. Paulwell expressed disappointment at the Generation Procurement Entity (GPE), which is tasked with undertaking procurement of new electricity-generation capacity, in accordance with The Electricity Act, 2015.
“It has taken far too long to get us to another phase of procurement, especially for renewables. The last time this country went to procure for renewables was 2013. Out of that procurement, we now have Wigton Windfarm III, we have the Blue Mountain wind energy system and we have Content Solar plant in Clarendon. We haven’t had a procurement for renewables since then, and it has to do with the slow pace of getting these things done,” he complained.
But Energy Minister Daryl Vaz said the GPE is at an advanced stage in developing draft rules and protocols for acquisition of new generation capacity.
“In my sectoral presentation in May 2021, I indicated to the public that they could expect the request for proposals within six months. We have experienced some delays, but it is anticipated that requests for proposals will be in place by the second quarter of 2022-2023 fiscal year,” he declared.
Requests for proposals should be published by September.