Minister of State for Industry urges companies to power their operations with renewable energy
Minister of State for the Department of Industry, Investment and Trade, Dr Norman Dunn.
ST JAMES, Jamaica – The Minister of State at the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Trade, Dr Norman Dunn, is encouraging businesses to consider running their operations using renewable energy.
Dr Dunn, speaking on Saturday about the commissioning of a solar power plant at Austrojam Limited in Bluntas, St Elizabeth, said customers and big investors are shifting their allegiance to companies paying greater attention to the impact of their operations on the natural environment.
He pointed out that as the global agricultural industry adopts more efficient and sustainable production techniques, the Jamaican government signals that it is ready to support models that are particularly sensitive to climate change.
“Our local businesses are therefore encouraged to include renewable energy in their practices as part of their core business model, particularly as we approach 2030, the decade of growth and development,” he said. .
The Minister of State added that the government continues to invite more private sector-led projects to build Jamaica’s energy resilience and accelerate the adoption of distributed renewable energy.
Dr. Dunn further stated that this will create a more sustainable energy future for all Jamaicans.
In addition, he praised the entity’s managing director, Martin Zsifkovics, for opting for solar energy.
“The conversion of this 2,100 square foot facility to 100% solar power has demonstrated that there are still effective mechanisms businesses can use to grow, while supporting important environmental conservation imperatives. energy and climate adoption,” he said.
“With our perpetual sunshine, large volumes of water [and] strong wind currents, Jamaica is ideal for renewable energy projects. Thus, projects in the field of agriculture, like yours in Austrojam, will be useful to support the government’s objective to increase the ratio of energy generated from renewable energies to 50% by 2050” , did he declare.
Dr. Dunn also encouraged businesses to take advantage of energy loans offered by the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of Jamaica to help entities modernize their operations to accommodate energy-efficient facilities, energy savings and alternative energy projects.
“This will be helpful in supporting greater diversity in our energy supply, which is already showing up well after several proposals were submitted to government this year, including solar and hydropower,” he said.
The Minister Without Portfolio in the Prime Minister’s Office and MP for St Elizabeth South West, Floyd Green, also praised Zsifkovics.
“I think Austrojam is a model that we can all emulate, [because Zsifkovics is] a strong supporter of the community. If you go and interact with the workforce, you will realize they are from the area,” he said.
“[He] is a strong proponent of engaging smallholder farmers through the model farm concept, which has worked well, and a strong proponent of using technology to drive the business forward,” he added.
Zsifkovics said Austrojam Limited began the process of transitioning to renewable energy two years ago, said the solar plant would power Austrojam’s cold stores.
“It’s off the grid [plant]… We have over 210 solar panels,” he said.
“We come [want] to save energy and reduce our costs because, as you know, the production costs of the raw material for the farms have increased significantly, so we have to reduce some of the other expenses,” he added.