Energy profile: Jamaica

From Global Energy Monitor


This page is part of Global Energy Monitor's Latin America Energy Portal.
Related pages:

Fuel mix (fossil fuels vs renewables)

Oil and natural gas continue to supply most of Jamaica's energy, supplemented by significantly smaller contributions from renewables.[1][2] As of 2020, nearly 89% of electricity was still generated by fossil fuels.[1][3]

In response to the Paris Agreement, Jamaica pledged that renewables would comprise 20% of the national energy mix by 2030.[4] In 2018, Prime Minister Andrew Holness increased the country's 2030 target for renewable electricity generation from 30% to 50%.[5] Jamaica is currently following the National Energy Policy 2009-2030.

Greenhouse gas emissions targets

Jamaica's December 2020 update to its NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 25% relative to business as usual levels by 2030, with the majority of reductions coming from the energy sector.[6][7] This represents a significant upwards revision from the 7.8% to 10% GHG reduction called for in Jamaica's original NDC.[4]

Government energy agencies & other key players

National energy ministry

MSET (Ministry of Science, Energy, and Technology) is the government institution responsible for energy.

Permitting agencies

NEPA (National Environment and Planning Agency) is responsible for permitting and tracking all environmental impact assessments.[8]

Regulatory agencies

OUR (Office of Utility Regulators) is responsible for regulating Jamaica's electrical sector. GEI (Government Electrical Inspectorate) is charged with inspecting the country's petroleum facilities.

Electric utilities

JPS (Jamaica Public Service Company Limited) is the national electrical energy company.

National oil company

The PCJ (Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica) is the state-owned company responsible for exploration, development, and management of Jamaica's oil and petroleum resources.

Energy sector employment data

As of 2020, 16.23% of Jamaicans worked in the industrial sector, which includes mining, quarrying, manufacturing, construction, electricity, gas, and water.[9] MSET aims to train young Jamaicans to work in the energy sector, particularly with renewables.[10]

Electricity usage

Installed capacity

As of 2020, Jamaica's installed electrical capacity was 1156 MW, supplied primarily by fossil fuels (83.73%), followed by wind (8.82%), solar (4.93%) and hydro power (2.52%).[1]

2020, Source: ETI


In 2020, Jamaica generated 4767 GWh of electricity; fossil fuels were the main energy source (88.67%), supplemented by smaller contributions from wind (5.87%), hydro (2.85%), and solar power (2.60%).[1] More than a quarter (26.5%) of Jamaica's electrical output is lost through poor transmission and distribution infrastructure.[3]


In 2018, the peak demand was 655 MW, and 97% of the population had access to electricity.[3]

2020, Source: ETI


In 2016, Jamaica consumed 2.847 billion kWh.[11]

Coal in Jamaica

Jamaica has no coal reserves and does not produce coal. Historically it has imported coal,[12] but other fuels such as natural gas are gaining ground, and proposed coal plants, such as Jamalco Power Station, have been repurposed due to concerns over coal usage.[13]

Oil & Natural Gas in Jamaica

Domestic Production

Jamaica does not produce crude oil.[14] The state-owned Petrojam refinery produced 24,250 barrels per day of refined petroleum products in 2017.[14] Jamaica was not producing natural gas as of 2017.[14]

Source: Worldometers


In 2016, Jamaica consumed 54,000 barrels of oil per day.[15] In 2017, Jamaica consumed 6,961 million cubic feet of natural gas.[16]

Imports & source countries

In 2015, Jamaica recorded daily imports of 24,360 barrels of crude oil and 30,580 barrels of refined petroleum products.[14]

Proposed new sources & projects

Offshore oil explorations have opened up a new market in Jamaica as evaluations have revealed the potential for more than 2.4 billion barrels of oil.[17] The United Kingdom's United Oil & Gas held a license for 11 prospects and leads for offshore gas in Jamaica's territorial waters as of 2020.[17] The exploration license states that United Oil & Gas must make a decision to drill by January 2022 or lose their license.[18]

Renewable Energy in Jamaica

Renewable energy status as of 2020, Source: ETI

JPS is diversifying its electrical generation into solar and wind projects.[19] MSET is focusing on energy diversification and has authorized individual residences and businesses to generate electricity for their own use.[20] Government officials who support renewable energy cite its potential to protect Jamaica from external economic shocks.[20]

As of August 2021, the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) aimed to add 1260 MW of wind and solar by 2037.[21]

Iron & Steel in Jamaica

Jamaica has small deposits of iron ore, but the mining industry is much more focused on other minerals.[22]

Environmental & social impacts of energy in Jamaica

Environmental activists raised concerns in 2020 about the adequacy of the Jamaican government's climate plan, notably with how it does not address forest protection and deforestation.[7] Younger Jamaicans tend to be involved in environmental activism, particularly those who understand the impacts of climate change on agriculture and rural youth.[23] Activists are pushing for large solar farms, electric vehicles, and mangrove restoration.[7] The Jamaican government continues to approve controversial mining permits despite rejection by state conservation authorities.[7][24]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Panorama Energético de América Latina y el Caribe 2021". OLADE. November 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. "IEA Policies and Measures Database © OECD/IEA". IEA. Retrieved 2021-06-04.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Jamaica Energy Snapshot" (PDF). ETI. September 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Intended Nationally Determined Contribution of Jamaica" (PDF). Government of Jamaica. October 4, 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. "Jamaica's Prime Minister Goes Solar [Press Release] — Solar Head of State". Solar Head of State. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  6. "Update of Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of Jamaica" (PDF). Government of Jamaica. June 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Kate Chappell (December 11, 2020). "Jamaica kicks off new climate plan, undeterred by pandemic and floods". Reuters.
  8. "Environmental Impact Assessments". National Environment and Planning Agency. 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. "Jamaica - employment by economic sector 2010-2020 | Statista". Statista. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  10. "Jamaica Government Expanding Energy Sector to Generate More Jobs | Business View Caribbean". Business View Caribbean. 2019-11-20. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  11. "Jamaica Electricity - consumption - Energy". Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  12. "Jamaica Coal Production and Consumption by Year (Thousand Short Tons)". Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  13. "JET Welcomes News That Jamalco Won't Have Coal-fired Plant". Radio Jamaica News Online. June 3, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 "Jamaica - The World Factbook". Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  15. "Jamaica Oil Reserves, Production and Consumption Statistics - Worldometer". Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  16. "Jamaica Natural Gas Reserves, Production and Consumption Statistics - Worldometer". Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "New report points to over 2.4-billion-barrel oil potential in Jamaica". OilNow. 2020-12-14. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  18. "Caribbean awaiting report card on Jamaica's oil potential". Stabroek News. 2021-05-28. Retrieved 2021-10-05.
  19. "Solar delivers cheapest power in Jamaica". pv magazine International. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  20. 20.0 20.1 "Gov't Executing next Tranche of Renewable Energy Projects – Jamaica Information Service". Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  21. "Jamaica Boosting Its Energy Industry". 2021-08-09. Retrieved 2021-10-05.
  22. "Mining". Retrieved 2021-05-25.
  23. "Young Jamaicans advocate for the environment". The Gleaner. October 23, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. "In Jamaica, Backlash Over Limestone Quarry in Ecological Area Sparks Youth Online Activism - The Good Men Project". The Good Men Project. 2021-01-10. Retrieved 2021-05-24.