My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Minister Paulwell revives Cuban Light Bulb Program - How to Ban Incandescent Bulbs and focus on production of LED Bulbs in Jamaica

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Minister Paulwell revives Cuban Light Bulb Program - How to Ban Incandescent Bulbs and focus on production of LED Bulbs in Jamaica

“I am going to resurrect that project. There are still thousands of light bulbs in Cuba destined for Jamaica. We need to get those bulbs here, we are going to install them, we are going to do so in a way that will minister ensure that we lower our (electricity) usage, and it will be done in a transparent and open manner”

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell in a speech at the breakfast forum on Jamaica's energy sector, hosted by the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the Wexford Court Hotel in Montego Bay on Friday March 15th 2013

The Cuban Light Bulb Program’s set to make a comeback under the stewardship of the Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell as announced in by the JIS (Jamaica information Service) in “Cuban Light Bulb Project to be Re-Introduced”, published Friday, 15 March 2013 09:18 written by JIS, Jamaica information Service.

This time around, like the JDX (Jamaica Debt Exchange) being renamed the NDX (New Debt Exchange)  as noticed in my blog article entitled “Jamaican Government to implement NDX, essentially JDX2 2.0 to get IMF Agreement - Tax Reform and FDI Investments Bullet to the Head and Oblivion”, the Cuban Light Bulb Program’s  has a nice new official sounding name: Cuba-Jamaica Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) Project.

The local newspapers did a fine job of capturing the news as per the articles “Lights on - Controversial Cuban bulb programme coming back”, published Friday March 15, 2013 by Mark Titus, The Jamaica Gleaner and “Paulwell to 'resurrect' controversial Cuban light bulb project”, published Friday, March 15, 2013, The Jamaica Observer.

As expected, both Jamaican Dailies seemed to zoom in on the fact that the program, introduced back in 2006, ran for 5 years. The program, which saw the distribution of Fluorescent light bulbs, which were being swapped for their equivalent Incandescent counterparts was halted due to Junior Minister Kern Spencer’s sticky fingers and the resulting mess now known historically in Jamaica as the Cuban Light Bulb Scandal.

He’s back in court by the way as reported in “Cuban light bulb trial back in court”, published Thursday April 4, 2013 9:09 am Jerome Reynolds, Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner. And yes, for those who like this kind of intrigue, yet again his case has been rescheduled for another date, this time for Tuesday May 14th 2013 as noted in “Cuban light bulb trial rescheduled”, published Friday April 5, 2013 8:37 am, The Jamaica Gleaner.

So with the trial ongoing does it make sense to go back to a program that’s basically introducing an older lighting Technology to Jamaica? Especially as the trend is towards LED’s with the GOJ via a partnership with FDI (Foreign Direct Investor) Green Energy RG as reported in my blog article entitled “Green Energy RG installing 5000 Solar Powered LED Streetlights in Jamaica - Local Government's the Gangster Squad West of Memphis towards a more Energy Efficient GOJ”.

It indeed does help. Despite LED’s obvious advantages in terms of efficiency and lifespan, they’re pricey upfront and the buyer needs to be well informed before making the switch to LED as noted in “Five things to consider before buying LED bulbs” published March 26, 2013 4:09 PM PDT by Sharon Vaknin, CNET News.

Thus CFL’s via this swap program with the Cuban Government is a lot like the PetroCaribe Agreement we have with Colombia, except we pay for the bulbs with equivalent Incandescent bulbs. It also paves the way for an eventual ban on Incandescent bulbs islandwide, which is the desire expressed by JPS Co Limited (Jamaica Public Service Company) as per my blog article entitled “JPS CEO Damian Obiglio wants Incandescent Bulb ban - Jamaican in the Twilight Zone”.

So as the GOJ battles Battery thieves on Highway 2000 stealing the recently installed batteries as reported in the article “Highway solar lights hit by thieves”, published Wednesday, April 10, 2013, The Jamaica Observer , Jamaica needs to restart ourselves on the path towards the eventual eradication of Incandescent Bulbs via this very generous offer from the Cuban Government, who no doubt are profiting from Recycling Incandescent bulbs for Glass and Tungsten.

Tungsten, by the way is also a Transition Metal that has a very good international price on the Mercantile Stock Exchange due to its rarity to find. It has other uses, such as the manufacture of Drill bits and Circular saw impregnated with Tungsten Carbide that can cut through concrete. Hopefully too, the GOJ may also begin to look into the idea of producing Solar Panels and Wind turbines and LED Lights here in Jamaica, possibly in partnership with Green Energy RG.

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