The GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) implemented by UNDP, and the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ), have provided funding to the Jamaica Maritime Institute Trust Fund (JMITF) to implement the project titled "Establishing the Caribbean Maritime Institute as a Learning Centre for Renewable Energy, Producing Wind Energy/Potable Drinking Water".
The Jamaica Maritime Institute Trust Fund (JMITF) will be officially launching the opening of the Caribbean Maritime Institute's (CMI) Renewable Energy Centre in Kingston on July 26th, 2012. The launch will take place on the premises of the CMI and will commence at 10:00 a.m.
In August 2010, GEF SGP provided US$ 40,000 in grant funding under the Climate Change Mitigation focal area to the JMITF for undertaking capacity development as well as technical support activities to increase knowledge and awareness about climate change through the establishment of a a dedicated Renewable Energy Center.. An additional US$ 10,000 was raised in co-financing from the EFJ.
At the Renewable Energy Center, sea water will be desalinated to fresh water and rainwater as well as brackish water will be purified through the reverse-osmosis (RO) mechanism for potable supply. Renewable energy sources such as slow speed wind generators will be used to power these processes and solar energy will be harnessed to bag the purified water. Furthermore, alternative energy education is a key activity of the center and this project will help to develop the capacities of the community and particularly the engineering students who will be trained on the fabrication of components and measuring wind velocity and direction for siting of the wind energy units. The system is intended to be scalable for easy replication in other schools, households and communities.
Projects of this nature help to promote knowledge sharing, networking and the strengthening of mechanisms for cooperation at the national and regional levels. Additionally, the project will demonstrate the sustainable use of resources through the use of innovative and cost-effective renewable energy technologies. The project also demonstrates the possibility of making the supply of water through RO a profitable and sustainable business, which can lead to self-sufficiency, particularly in arid areas where fresh water resources are limited and costly. This initiative successfully strengthens local capacities for community development and sustainable management of environmental resources.