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Renewable Energy

Jamaica National Water Commission (NWC) to Add Electric Vehicles to Fleet



The National Water Commission (NWC) will soon be introducing five light-duty electric vehicles (EVs) into its fleet.

Making the announcement during his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate, on December 2, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda, said the decision has been made to purchase five light-duty EVs during the next vehicle-procurement exercise.

Senator Samuda said the vehicles will be tested for use in metropolitan areas and then expanded.
He informed that the results of these tests will then determine how the NWC will move forward with the inclusion of more EVs in the fleet complement.

Mr. Samuda said that the addition forms part of steps being explored to make the organisation more efficient and environmentally friendly in its energy-usage patterns.

“It also will not hurt as we continue to expand our renewables capacity at pumphouses islandwide,” he said.

The National Water Commission (NWC) produces more than 90 per cent of Jamaica’s total potable water supply.

The Commission supplies 190 million gallons of potable water each day to its more than 400,000 registered accounts, representing about two million persons across Jamaica.

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Businessuite News24

70 Additional Buses Expected for The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) By September 2023



The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) is to receive 50 additional buses, 45 diesel and five electric, by month end.

Additionally, 20 compressed natural gas (CNG)-fuelled units will be added to the fleet under a joint arrangement with private-sector partners. These are expected by September.

Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Audley Shaw, made the disclosure during his contribution to the 2023/24 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday (May 9).

“We are currently engaged in a Battery Electric Bus pilot project for the testing of six electric buses, which will evaluate the performance of these electric buses and form the basis for comparison to the diesel and compressed natural gas buses,” Mr. Shaw said.

“As a matter of fact, one electric bus is already in operation. As we take steps to address the number of seats needed to transport commuters, we are expecting to procure 200 electric buses over the next two years, among other initiatives being explored,” he added.

Mr. Shaw also informed that the JUTC has digitised its processes to facilitate application for charters and subfranchise licences, pointing out that an online portal was launched by the company in February this year.

He noted that this is a major step towards making the entity’s services more accessible and the processes more user-friendly.

“Persons who are interested in applying for charters or subfranchise licence may visit the JUTC’s website at and make the necessary arrangements and pay for the service online,” the Minister stated.

Meanwhile, Mr. Shaw said the current fare collection system used by the JUTC has become obsolete.

He informed that the procurement process for an upgraded Cashless Fare Collection System was significantly advanced; however, it was redirected for consideration by the Public Investment Appraisal Branch (PIAB).

“A pilot project where the system [is] operating on all the JUTC’s buses, at no cost to the people of Jamaica, is to be implemented. The outcome of this pilot will assist the process of review by the PIAB and further guide the way forward,” Mr. Shaw said.

Regarding the matter of fuel pilferage, the Minister noted that for more than two decades, the matter has been an issue for the JUTC.

“We are pursuing new methods to combat the innovative means by which thieves have been pilfering fuel. Without divulging too much, due to the sensitivity and security issues around this matter, we are working with a local company to introduce a technology-based solution that will assist us in detecting, locating, and tracking fuel theft where it occurs,” Mr. Shaw indicated.

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Businessuite News24

GSI SKN Inc and US-based NABCEP launch Caribbean hub for solar energy training



Photo caption: From left, Shawn O’Brien, President and CEO, NABCEP and Dr. Wayne E. Archibald, Executive Director, Green Solutions International SKN Incorporated (GSI) at the recent signing

On 27th March this year Dr. Wayne E. Archibald, Executive Director, Green Solutions International SKN Incorporated (GSI), signed an exclusive international partnership agreement with Shawn O’Brien, President and CEO of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners® (NABCEP®) to establish NABCEP Caribbean, the first regional hub for solar energy training and development throughout the Caribbean region as well as the US Virgin Islands.

NABCEP credentials are a voluntary certification that provides a set of national standards by which photovoltaic (PV) professionals with skills and experience can distinguish themselves from the competition. Certification gives a measure of protection to the consumer by furnishing them with a credential against which they can assess the competency of PV practitioners.

GSI will serve as NABCEP’s regional partner for the solar energy industry in the Caribbean. Increased access to NABCEP’s PV training programmes and certification will enhance PV human resource capacities and build consumer confidence, leading to greater investment in the industry. NABCEP’s PV Installation Professional (PVIP®) Certification is accredited to the internationally recognised ISO/IEC 17024 by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

At the signing, Dr. Archibald stated, “I am pleased to sign this new agreement with our valued partner, NABCEP, to strengthen our capacity-building and workforce development programmes in the region.

This agreement represents a significant milestone that will raise the standard for solar installations and maintenance, and increase employability opportunities for talented, qualified Caribbean nationals in one of the fastest growing industries, regionally and worldwide.”

NABCEP Board certifications can positively impact PV technicians’ careers through improved marketability, validation of knowledge, and enhanced reputation and credibility. GSI will work closely with the private and public sectors to establish partnerships with Caribbean colleges, universities, and government institutions to integrate the NABCEP concept into regional renewable energy programmes.

Recently, GSI was contracted by the Caribbean Development Bank to spearhead the “OECS Photovoltaic
Training and Certification Programme” in PV installation and inspection for 250 persons from Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. This was the most significant PV training and certification programme held in the Caribbean to date.

In 2021, UNDP Guyana also contracted GSI to deliver the NABCEP Solar Photovoltaic Training and Certification for the Solar PV Associate Course and the System Inspector Certification Course for 25 persons. GSI was tasked with developing a curriculum for Solar PV Installation, Maintenance and Repairs using the Power Generation Stand-by Level 1 and/or Power Line Construction and Maintenance Distribution Level 1 standards under the “Mainstreaming Low Emission Energy Technologies to Build Guyana’s Green Economy” project.

Last year, GSI, in partnership with the Cadmus Group LLC, a global climate and energy consulting firm in the USA, and The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica, coordinated the Workforce Development and Training programme for “Strengthening Energy Sector Resilience in Jamaica.” This is a US$4 million, three-year project led by USAID/Jamaica and the Jamaica Energy Resilience Alliance (JERA).

Building on these successes and now with more than 750 persons trained across the region, the establishment of NABCEP Caribbean will further increase demand for internationally certified solar energy qualifications. “We are excited to partner with GSI in supporting renewable energy education in the Caribbean,” said Shawn O’Brien, NABCEP’s President and CEO. “With year-round sunshine, motivated learners and quality training, the Caribbean has all the right ingredients to produce the energised workforce needed in the region. The NABCEP Caribbean Program solidifies our combined commitment to the industry and the ongoing and mutually beneficial relationships that will lead us into the next generation of solar empowerment.”

Adding her support to the launch of this initiative, Judith Ephraim, Programme Director – Sustainable Energy, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission, commented, “We’re seeing a trend towards low or zero-carbon sources of energy, as well as distributed generation and autonomy in energy production in the Caribbean. Organisations like GSI are paving the way in supporting a cadre of homegrown energy professionals that will take the region forward in meeting its energy and sustainable development goals.”

GSI is a non-governmental organisation and a premier provider of green energy solutions across the Caribbean. Its mission is to help the region become 100% sustainable through innovation, education, workforce training, and clean energy development. Its highly experienced team serves as an intellectual hub for learning, networking, and innovation across the region in all areas of green technology.

To sign up for NABCEP programmes in the Caribbean, visit; email; or call (+1 876) 559 2515.

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Tesla Will Continue To Cut Prices On Its Electric Vehicles To Push For Higher Volumes



Elon Musk indicated Tesla will continue to cut prices on its electric vehicles to push for higher volumes, even after the company took significant hit to profit due to markdowns. The news comes after several rounds of price cuts already this year, prompting speculation over whether the strategy comes from a position of weakness or strength. While Tesla is still the top seller of EVs, high borrowing costs and competition have meant its growth has slowed dramatically. “They’re going to use the room in their margin to create more demand,” Ben Kallo, an analyst at Robert W. Baird, said in a Bloomberg Television interview.

Tesla reported first-quarter earnings that missed analyst estimates after a series of aggressive price cuts squeezed profit margins. Profit excluding some items fell to 85 cents a share, slightly below the 86-cent average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The Austin, Texas-based electric-vehicle maker has been slashing prices in an effort to stay ahead of rivals. The company’s stock slid more than 4.5% on the news.

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Logistics & Transportation

Ministry Of Transport’s Will Also Embark On A National Electric Vehicle Policy And Strategy For Bermuda



The Ministry of Transport’s will also embark on a National Electric Vehicle Policy and Strategy for Bermuda, which will set out a plan to phase out the sale and importation of internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035. Transportation is a primary contributor of greenhouse gases around the world and reducing or eliminating emissions from transport will not only reduce Bermuda’s contribution to climate change but improve local air quality and reduce Bermuda’s dependence on foreign oil.

Bermuda has already experienced success this summer from the launch of operation of the first thirty electric public buses. The buses have been in operation for over six months and have saved the Department of Public Transportation (DPT) an estimated $50,000 in fuel costs alone. These savings do not include maintenance costs, which are expected to be nearly half those of diesel buses. Early experience in the maintenance shop indicates that the required services are simple and quick to complete. Additionally, these buses have led to significant energy and emissions savings over the summer. About 120,000 liters of diesel fuel were avoided through August, equivalent to the fuel burned over a typical 8-hour transatlantic flight.

The Ministry’s introduction to a National Electric Vehicle Policy can only multiply the benefits experienced this summer with the electric busses alone. As the global vehicle market moves towards electric vehicles, it will become increasingly important for Bermuda to prepare for this transition.

Bermuda has already started the electric vehicle transition, with fully electric rental car fleets, select private vehicle, and the recently introduced electric public buses. Being less than 25 miles long and 2 miles at its widest point, the island is a prime candidate for EVs without the need for long-range vehicles or frequent charging. However, most of the nearly 22,000 licensed private vehicles are still internal combustion engine vehicles. The slow pace of adoption can be attributed in part to the limited availability of EV models on the island. To this end, the Ministry will review sizes of EV’s so that more models are made available. The Ministry of Transport views the advancement of this policy as a significant development for Bermuda that will create a multitude of benefits for the environment and the people.

Bermuda Minister of Transport, the Hon. Wayne L. Furbert, JP, MP

Ministry of Transport – Throne Speech 2022 Initiatives

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Renewable Energy

Global South Urged to Support Transition to Cleaner Forms of Energy



It is important for countries of the Global South to support the scaling up of the transition to cleaner and sustainable forms of energy, says Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith.

“We encourage elevation on the G-20 agenda of similar pragmatic policies and programmes supportive of energy transition by fiscally constrained developing countries,” she said.

The Minister was speaking at a recent special virtual summit, ‘Voice of Global South Summit’, an initiative of India, under the theme ‘Unity of Voice, Unity of Purpose’.

India assumed Presidency of the Group of 20 (G-20), effective December 1. More than 120 countries participated in the two-day Summit, where they shared their perspectives and priorities.

The Minister said that Jamaica has been making strides towards loosening its dependence on imported petroleum fuels, while embracing clean, renewable energies and greater levels of energy efficiency.

“In this light, we have leveraged support derived from our membership of the International Solar Alliance,” she added.

The Minister emphasised the importance of food and energy security, the fight against climate change, and recommended the sharing of models across the regions as well as technical cooperation among countries, “to promote increased food production and trade and increased availability of inputs for the Agricultural and Fisheries sectors”.

She cited the food insecurity facing the world’s most vulnerable and said the situation was worsened by “climate extremes, economic shocks, conflicts and disruptions to global supply chains”.

“Solutions lie only in innovative action, partnerships and collaborative work at every level, to strengthen the resilience of food systems in developing countries,” Senator Johnson Smith said.

The Minister congratulated the Government of India for assuming Presidency of the G-20.

“Jamaica is confident that India’s G-20 Presidency will pave the way for more robust, collective action for sustainable development and stability in this fractured international landscape. We look forward to further productive engagement,” she said.

India’s High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency Runsung Masakui, told JIS News that as India begins its Presidency, the aim is to amplify the voice of the Global South.

He said that India’s ongoing Presidency of the G-20 provides a special and strong opportunity for those countries that are not part of the group to share their ideas and expectations.

The High Commissioner said that India will work to ensure that the inputs generated from partner countries in the Global South Summit deliberations receive due recognition globally.

The priority areas discussed at the Summit were Financing People-Centric Development; Balancing Growth with Environment-Friendly Lifestyle; Priorities of the Global South – Ensuring a conducive Environment, Energy Security and Development; Cooperation to Build Resilient Healthcare Systems; Human Resource Development and Capacity Building; Developing Synergies in the Global South – Trade, Technology, Tourism and Resources; and G-20 Suggestions for India’s Presidency.

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