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Letters
Friday, 9 March 2012
Response to: A logical Approach to Economic and Social Development
Topic: Energy Use
Dear Editor, I would like to commend Dennis Chung on his contibution “A logical Approach to Economic and Social Development” in the Caribbean Business Report, dated Friday, 2 March 2012.  I support his observation that “the only realistic short-term project now is tax reform”: not public sector rationalization, nor pension reform.  We cannot afford to labour upon short-term initiatives any more.  Our comparative advantage and international productivity needs to be addressed  to deal with the trade deficit.  Towards this end, I concur that investments need to be made in capital infrastructure in areas of comparative advantage: notably tourism and agriculture.  Also, our food and oil imports need to be reduced.  But, this will not be an easy task, particularly with regard to reducing our dependence on oil imports. In this regard, I would also like to commend the University of the West Indies, and Professor A. Anthony Chen in particular, for hosting the Lecture Series “Climate-Energy Nexus: Call to Action”.  In the last lecture on 21 February 2012, Mr. William Saunders spoke on “The Energy Situation in Jamaica” where he gave an historical perspective of Jamaica’s worsening energy situation particularly as it relates to poor political decisions, or lack thereof.  Jamaica is a high consumer of oil, but before we blame it all on the politician we should be aware that on the demand side we have a problem with rising per capita consumption: which means we give too little regard to energy efficiency and conservation. Jamaica’s Energy policy 2006 – 2020 tells us that 36.6% of oil imports is used in Bauxite/Alumina processing, and 7.7% for aviation and shipping: both being export activities.  24.7% is used in the electricity sector and 23.5% in the transport sector.  So, only reduction of oil imports in these latter sectors would appreciably reduce our trade deficit.  In the transport sector, the Obama administration allowed older inefficient vehicles to be traded in at concessionary rates for new ones; but would this result in the desired 30 – 50% reduction of oil imports?  In the electricity sector, we now have net-metering, and Germany even paid rates in excess of that charged by utility companies to encourage production of solar energy; but, most of our energy demand occurs at night between 5:00 – 11:00 p.m. To our limitations of short-term and extreme thinking, let us add poor execution.  The Jamaica Energy Policy green paper was completed six years ago and we’ve had an energy-efficiency building code for seventeen years now.  How much has changed during this time?  Approximately, 60% of our electricity is consumed by commercial and industrial groups.  If we are truly concerned with dealing with our trade deficit, these groups have to be at the forefront of our effort.  I write not to discourage the forward-thinking among us but to forewarn that the task at hand will not be easily attained without hard work and dedication.  Are we up to the task?  Paul Hay MBA, BA(Arch.)
Managing Partner
PAUL HAY Capital Projects

Caribbean Capital Projects Management





P. O. Box 3367
Constant Springs, Kgn. 8
Jamaica, W.I.

tel: 1 (876) 756-0631
cel: 1 (876) 324-4274
fax: 1 (876) 756-0631

e-mail: paul.hay@phcjam.com
skype name: phcjam
twitter: www.twitter.com/phcjam
profile: http://www.linkedin.com/company/paul-hay-capital-projects
web: http://www.phcjam.com

  

Posted by phcjam at 5:07 PM EST
Friday, 29 April 2011
Big savings with more than one solar technology
Topic: Energy Use

Dear Editor,

                I am in agreement with Noel Mitchell’s letter entitled “Solar is the way to go”, which was printed in your paper, dated 27 April 2011. Jamaica should be utilizing much more solar energy than we presently do. But, utilization of photovoltaic (PV) panels (i.e. solar panels) is somewhat limited by their current inefficiency. Hence, large unshaded areas are required for their installation. Whenever a building exceeds three stories there is simply not enough roof space to accommodate all the panels needed to provide all of the buildings’ energy demand. So, individuals and small businesses most likely possess the required space to accommodate the panels, but initial costs may be unaffordable. Conversely “large buildings such as hotels, large office complexes”, some government ministries and hospitals will not have all the required space, though they may have the means to afford the installation. This is also the case with solar water heaters, and both are liabilities when hurricanes threaten.

However, an often overlooked yet effective solar technology is the use of daylight as a substitute for electric light. This is called “Daylighting”. You will realise that natural light was used to illuminate buildings before the advent of electricity. Today, it may simply entail the use of switches to control lighting fixtures adjacent to windows independent from areas deeper in a room: which will be darker. But, research has shown that occupants cannot be trusted to control these switches effectively; so, the current technology uses photocells to automatically dim or switch off electric lights as natural lighting levels increase. Again, space is an issue. Typically only spaces up to 4.5 or 6m in from windows can be “daylit”, though this can be increased by technology that is already in use at PCJ’s office building. Nevertheless, research again shows that daylighting will effect significant energy savings under these conditions, and especially in environments as our own.

So, it is possible to utilize solar energy for the greater part of our buildings’ energy demand. But, potential savings are even greater with use of more than one solar technology. Our government has proposing to use PV panels for street lights, which would be a worthwhile investment if and when it gets implemented. However, it may prove even more effective to provide incentives for the private sector to utilize more solar energy, while the government itself seeks to use more solar energy. Then, we could have a bright future, even when the price of oil is volatile.

 Paul Hay MBA, BA(Arch.)Managing PartnerPAUL HAY Capital Projects Caribbean Capital Projects Management P. O. Box 3367Kingston 8Jamaica, W.I. tel: 1 (876) 756-0631cel: 1 (876) 324-4274fax: 1 (876) 756-0631 web: www.phcjam.come-mail: paul.hay@phcjam.comskype name: phcjamprofile: www.linkedin.com/in/phcjamtwitter: www.twitter.com/phcjam 

Posted by phcjam at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 27 October 2005
Using Natural Ventilation
Topic: Energy Use

THE EDITOR, Sir:

PLEASE ALLOW me to respond to a letter, published on Saturday, October 22, 2005, entitled 'Wasteful designs'. First, the author, Paul Ward, has raised many valid points and is to be commended, along with any other like-minded individuals. The use of natural ventilation and lighting would reduce energy consumed in buildings. Air-conditioning and electric lights use approximately 77 per cent of electricity consumed in large buildings: 56 per cent for cooling and 21 per cent for lighting.

Buildings can still be designed for natural ventilation and lighting. In fact, there are several small offices in Jamaica that are naturally ventilated, including some belonging to architects: one, I am told, uses air-conditioning only when cooling is otherwise impossible. As the lecturer of building services at the Caribbean School of Architecture, University of Technology, I can also inform you that our future architects are first taught to design using natural resources before they are taught about electric lighting and air-conditioning. So, 'the technology of the past' is still very relevant and achievable.

But, natural ventilation is generally impractical in large compact buildings and use of natural light is limited to rooms with windows. Also, large buildings designed to use natural ventilation and lighting are of necessity long: which presents problems regarding earthquake resistance. So, they tend to be more expensive. Those interested in these types of buildings should therefore expect higher construction costs in order to reduce operation costs due to their use of electricity.

I am, etc.,

PAUL HAY

phcadmin@phcjamaica.com

Managing Partner

Paul Hay Consultants

15a Cassia Park Road

Kingston 10


Posted by phcjam at 7:35 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 March 2011 7:43 PM EDT
Friday, 30 September 2005
Boost to Jamaica's Energy Efficiency Possible
Topic: Energy Use

Dear Editor, 

In the September 23, 2005 edition of your Financial Gleaner, Raymond Forrest's article 'We need to boost our Energy Efficiency' concludes with the statement: "... we have a major problem that requires conservation measures and change in current behaviour".  I am in full agreement.  We need to appreciate that oil is a non-renewable resource and needs to be treated accordingly.

 

But, changes are not only limited to transportation.  In the article 'Jamaica on the wrong side of the Energy Spectrum: Directions for the Future, part I', published in the January 27, 2005 edition of the Gleaner, Dr. Cezley Sampson noted the 23.5 percent of Jamaica's oil imports is used for transportation, but 25 percent is used in the generation of electricity, as Jamaica's energy demand is almost totally supplied by imported fuel.

 

Change in the design and operation of our buildings can therefore make significant contributions toward boosting energy efficiency.  Over 10 years go, a study undertaken in Thialand revealed that annual consumption of energy in stores and hotels could be reduced by up to 56 and 51 percent respectively.  The implementation of the conservation measures would even pay for themselves within one or two years.  A comparable local study revealed that annual consumption in our typical offices could be reduced by 30 - 36 percent, if these buildings complied with the Energy Efficiency Building Code (EEBC-94), in which case, the payback period was between 1.2 and 2.6 years.

 

Towards this end, the Jamaican Institute of Engineers is to be commended for including energy-efficiency as one aspect of their effort to revise the National Building Code.  Policymakers, design professionals, real estate developers, building owners and operators therefore need to take stock, and effect changes for the good of the nation and to improve returns on their investments.

 

Paul Hay BA(Arch.)
Managing Partner
PAUL HAY Capital Projects

Caribbean Capital Projects Management


P. O. Box 3367
Constant Springs, Kgn. 8
Jamaica, W.I.

tel: 1 (876) 756-0631
cel: 1 (876) 324-4274
fax: 1 (876) 756-0631

e-mail: paul.hay@phcjam.com
skype name: phcjam
twitter: www.twitter.com/phcjam
profile: http://www.linkedin.com/company/paul-hay-capital-projects

web: http://www.phcjam.com 


Posted by phcjam at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 10 March 2012 5:10 PM EST

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