Jamaica’s prime minister calls for 50% renewables by 2030

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Noting that island nations are “very vulnerable to oil price movements and energy shocks,” Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness has called for his country to aim for a higher share of renewables.

“The current policy is that 30 percent of electricity should be generated by renewables by 2030. I believe we can do better, so I have directed the government to increase our target from 30 percent to 50 percent,” he said.

Pursuing this path “takes leadership,” he said, adding, “It takes the leaders of the country to bring this awareness to their people, and now we are moving to ensure that renewables play an even greater part in our energy mix.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Holness said Jamaica generates 18% of its electricity from renewables. That compares favorably with a goal set in 2009 to achieve 20% by 2030.

The Prime Minister made his comments in a video released by the California-based nonprofit Solar Head of State, timed to coincide with a solar panel installation that the group orchestrated on the roof of the Office of the Prime Minister.

In neighboring Puerto Rico, industry groups and city mayors just made a similar call for 50% renewable generation by 2035, and 100% by 2050.

By Will Driscoll