It seems odd that a country so rich in natural resources and renewable power potential would be a net importer of energy, but Jamaica has faced this very situation for years.  While exports accounted for US$ 1.3 billion of the island nation’s economy in 2010, Jamaica spent $1.6 billion importing nearly 20 million barrels of oil. Seeing that the oil import has such an effect on the country’s bottom line, Jamaican residents seek solar installation training.

Citing various environmental and financial reasons for correcting this trade imbalance, the government has crafted a National Energy policy designed to reduce dependence on fossil fuel by 20% over the next two decades.  According to Minister of Energy and Mining, Clive Mullings, diversifying the country’s energy portfolio could result in $284 million in savings if the country meets its current 2030 targets.

PV Training & Solar Financing – Old Hurdles with New Solutions

In pursuing this ambitious goal, Jamaica faces two important hurdles – solar project financing and PV installation training.  To combat the former, the National Housing Trust Fund (NHT) and Credit Merchant Bank have unveiled a series of loan programs designed to make solar water heaters and solar PV installations more affordable for area residents, schools, and businesses.

There also exist a number of large-scale renewable energy projects that have attracted financing from overseas.  The Washington-based Hampden Kent Group recently secured millions in structured debt to launch a new solar