My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Alternative Energy and Distributed AEPP - The GoldenEye Talk Shop

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Alternative Energy and Distributed AEPP - The GoldenEye Talk Shop

Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!

Daniel Webster, Speech, 1830

It seems that the good politician is again missing the point. I was writing another article on tablets, but after watching the program Your Issues Live, aired Monday November 16 2010, Television Jamaica, I parked that article and started writing afresh into the night, as what I saw troubled me greatly.

Spotted: Senator James Robertson, Minister of Energy and Mining appearing on the vox pop program Your Issues Live with host Michael Sharpe, looking sharp as ever, pun oh so deliberately intended, in the cool Emancipation Park, just outside of the playground of The Young and the Restless (TV Series 1973– ), that being New Kingston.

This program was slated to address Jamaica concerns about the Energy Diversification Program that the Government of Jamaica was embarking on as stated in the article “US$3-B infrastructural upgrade coming with Natural Gas - Robertson”, published Sunday, October 03, 2010, The Jamaica Observer, an effective transition and push towards an eventual Electron Economy powered via Gas Turbine Generators that are Hydrogen Economy ready as per the modification of the recommendations of the Dr. Ulf Bossel published paper entitled “Why a Hydrogen Economy doesn't make sense”, published December 11 2006,

Instead, it was a rehashed talk shop via Your Issues Live, aired Monday November 16 2010, Television Jamaica, failing to address the key issues of interest to Jamaicans, now bitingly suffering from JPS Co (Jamaica Public Service Company), our sole Power Utility Company in Jamaica and their strange billing practices and wondering when they would get relief.

A plan to be implemented in the next two (2) years is too far away, people must be grumbling. I say “strange”, as since the discovery that Tivoli Gardens after “Dudus” Gate in June 2010 (great title for the movie Hollywood?), citizens like the rest of us, were discovered not paying for their electricity, the uproar from the Private Sector and hoteliers was enough to spur the Government into the defensive posture.

Suddenly Senator James Robertson, Minister of Energy and Mining proffering this idea of an LNG based solution as stated in the article “Government eyes LNG cure for Energy problems”, published Wednesday June 16 2010 by Laura Redpath, Senior Staff Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner. Months prior, he had no details to tell Senator Phillip Paulwell, Opposition Spokesman on Energy, Mining and ICT after he had called for a divide in Parliament on the issue as stated in the article “Government, Opposition wrangle over Energy”, published Saturday April 3, 2010, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Politicians are strange creatures indeed, as Senator Phillip Paulwell, Opposition Spokesman on Energy, Mining and ICT went on to asses the idea of negotiations with JPS Co in a bid to get them to capitulate to serving the greater good of Society and the Business Community at large by accepting Energy Sector Liberalization, much as Senator Phillip Paulwell had done when he was then Minister of Energy, Mining and ICT during PNP (People’s National Party) control of the Government in the early 90’s and up to 2007, when they lost to the now governing JLP (Jamaica Labour Party).

Later on, Senator Phillip Paulwell, Opposition Spokesman on Energy, Mining and ICT stated that “the current cost [electricity and fuel] is astronomical, especially for businesses. What is needed at this time is competition in the sector,” as he stated in the article “'Follow my blueprint' - Paulwell still pushing for breakup of JPS monopoly”, published Friday April 30 2010, Mark Titus, Business Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner.

That was April 2010AD.

We are now in December 2010 and negotiations have not been pursued with JPS Co, as one would think, unlike the bad example of the Americans and their now Republican driven Senate as stated in the article “Republican Win to hurt Obama's clean-Energy plans”, published Wednesday November 3 2010, CNET News - Green Tech and confirmed in the article “US Republicans seize Lower house”, published Wednesday November 3 2010, BBC News as Energy Sector Liberalization MUST be a bi-partisan issue upon which both parties could agree upon, as it is crux to fixing the Jamaican Economy and making it globally competitive.

So since then, this Energy Sector Liberalization is yet to materialize, despite all the energy related activity in Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China a la carte purchases of Government of Jamaica properties. Energy Related activity such as:

  1. The expansion developments into energy storage by Greek shipping magnate Aegean Marine Petroleum US$20 million expansion plans for the construction of fuel bunkers on land to store MGO (Marine Gas Oil) and MFO (Marine Fuel Oil) as stated in the article “ US$20M more to Bunker - Greek firm eyes investment in Jamaican storage facility”, published Wednesday, April 07, 2010 BY CAMILO THAME Business co-ordinator, The Jamaica Observer
  2. The declaration of the intention to construct a US$.6 billion dollar Refinery by Mexican Petroleum interest PEMEX (Petroleos Mexicanos) and mysterious hastily commissioned  two (2) week restoration of a 15-foot statue named El Atlante de Tula by Mexican Ambassador to Jamaica, Leonora Rueda as stated in the article “Mexico's new refinery to take shape this year, published Thursday April 1st 2010, by Nadisha Hunter, Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner as ready examples.

Jamaica no longer owns the PCJ (Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica) and the Government of Jamaica had already ceded control to the Government of Venezuela, made possible by a 2% increase on their 49% stake in the oil refinery to 51% and hence controlling rights as stated in the article “Venezuelans to the Rescue - 2% deal gives PVDSA affiliate majority ownership”, published Friday April 30 2010, Mark Titus, Business Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner.

For the record,  PVDSA (Petroleos de Venezuela SA) is the state run subsidiary that stands to benefit from recent finds of oil and a massive gas field off the coast of Venezuela as stated in the article “Venezuela taps natural gas super well”, published Tuesday March 30th2010, AP, The Jamaica Gleaner. So Oil will soon have a diminishing importance as we need to wean ourselves from its dependence, which is as difficult for us as it would be for a crack or cocaine addict.

So what of the little man? When are we to begin hearing of small business entrepreneurs entering into a Liberalized Energy Sector, much as has occurred in Telecommunications, with the entrance of Telecom Provider Digicel in 1998?

No word on waivers being granted to the importation of Solar Powered Air Conditioning Units as stated in the article “Abu Dhabi to plug in solar air conditioner”, published January 15, 2010 7:26 AM PST by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech or any material needed to set up a Distributed AEPP (Alternative Energy Power Plant) to resell Solar or Wind power to the grid as is the case in New Jersey as per the examples in the article “N.J. solar panels on utility poles to use AT&T”, published July 21, 2010 8:19 AM PDT by Candace Lombardi, CNET News - Green Tech.

Hosted via a rental scheme on peoples houses as per the article “SunRun bags money to finance residential solar”, published October 27, 2010 8:47 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech, perhaps?

Or even subsidies and profit sharing granted to landowners wiling to have either bio-digesters hosted on their farm to power Computer Servers or mobile towers as stated in the article “Using a dairy farm to power your server farm”, published May 18, 2010 6:00 PM PDT by Erica Ogg, CNET News - Circuit Breaker or provide hosting for Wind Turbines that provide power to the Power Utility Company’s Grid as stated in the article “Wind could be next great farming subsidy”, published May 19, 2010 12:37 PM PDT by Candace Lombardi, CNET News - Green Tech, much as Telecom Providers and Power Utility companies request easement to lease land space to host mobile cell site towers and Power Utility Poles for their Transmission Lines and Power Substations respectively.

There was also no mention of the Oil Discovery by Sagres Energy, the parent of Canadian firm Rainville Energy that had drilling rights in Jamaica since Thursday June 15th 2006 AD, announced Friday August 27th 2010 AD and reported in detail on Wednesday September 1st 2010 in The Jamaica Observer as stated in the article “Jamaica may have 3 billion barrels of Oil”, published Wednesday, September 01, 2010, The Jamaica Observer and confirmed by the article “Sagres yet to commit to Jamaica Oil drilling”, published Friday, September 03, 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

With Sagres Energy needing to find a drilling partner before next year, as  Dr. Raymond Wright asserts that they will as stated in the article “Wright affirms Oil potential”, published Friday September 3rd 2010 by The Jamaica Information Service, The Jamaica Gleaner. Also, what of the transition plan to All-Electric Vehicles, especially as there is an impending spare parts shortage for the old ten (10) year old clunkers driving around as stated in the article “Spare Parts shortage hits used-car Trade”, published Friday October 22 2010, The Jamaica Gleaner as the Japanese are now throwing away gas guzzlers in lieu of more efficient EV (Electric Vehicles)?

Despite the words of Auto Industry protectionists, such as Kent LaCroix, President of the Automobile Dealers Association (ADA) as stated in the article “Is Jamaica ready for Electric vehicles ?”, published Friday, October 01, 2010, The Jamaica Observer, who like early opponents of my blogging activities, is dead set against the change that All-Electric Vehicles represent as opposed to his idea of cleaner Diesel from the local Oil Refinery, the transition to EV’s will soon be a necessity.

None of these issues related to Energy Sector Liberalization were addressed in specific detail at the talk shop. 

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