REAL NEWS: Had the Gaston Browne Administration been serious about climate change, it would have sought to install batteries on the solar farms across the island, says Jamale Pringle, political leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP).
More than a year ago, it was confirmed that the solar farms – one of which is located on the compound of the V.C. Bird International Airport – had been set up without the batteries – required for energy storage – being put in place.
With the current high and humid temperatures, Pringle notes, residents have increased their use of electric fans, while other households are installing air-conditioning (a/c) units to beat the heat.
This, he says, is going to end up being very costly to consumers, as the increased use of these electronics will be reflected on their utility bills.
However, he says, the Administration does not seem to be interested in installing batteries in the panels on the solar farms.
Pringle adds that many schools are complaining about the high temperatures.
And if the Browne Administration had been forward thinking, he says, it would already have moved these institutions from fossil fuel to solar power and installed a/c units to combat the heat.
He points out that solar power would also lower the country’s carbon emissions, unlike the use of fossil-fuelled electricity.
Jamaica reportedly has undertaken an initiative similar to what Pringle is suggesting – in about 30 pilot schools.
Meanwhile, Pringle is chastising the Ministry of Education and Minister Daryl Matthew for the condition of many schools at the opening of the school year on September 4.
He says the Ministry failed to carry out any maintenance on the schools over the summer vacation, as students returned to many compounds filled with tall grass.