EDITORS’ Forum: Energy crisis

With Jamaicans almost uniform in their belief that the cost of energy is retarding growth in all sectors of society, The Gleaner yesterday assembled a team of experts who had contributed to the latest edition of the Mona School of Business, MSB Business Review, for an Editors’ Forum to further explore the energy issues raised in the publication.

As part of extensive discussions, they provided some simple advice to new Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell and the Portia Simpson Miller administration.

Dr Carlton Davis

Former chairman, Jamaica Bauxite Institute

Deal immediately with the fuel issue. Fuel is the main issue that is driving this thing.

Dr Maurice McNaughton

Director, Mona School of Business (MSB)

It will need a portfolio of approaches to solve this problem. This involves the conservation discussion, solving the fuel problem and approaching unbundling in a very controlled, progressive way.

Winston Hay

Former head of the Office of Utilities Regulation

The priority must be to select the most economic fuel and (my suggestion is coal).

Claude Robinson

Director, MSB

For me the priority would be to allow the industry and operators to determine their fuel source and empower the regulator (OUR) to manage the process.

Dr William Lawrence

Director, MSB

I certainly believe the very best mix of fuel on one hand and conservation on the other is the way to go.

Joseph A. Matalon

Jamaica Productivity Centre

I think that perhaps the most important thing is to make a decision (on the alternative energy source) because historically we have put in plants on an emergency basis and therefore the least efficient plants (are built). I think that it is time now somebody took a firm stance and acted accordingly.

Dr Charles Douglas

Director, Jamaica Productive Centre

Time for us to do something (about an alternative energy source). We have done nothing for too long.