Graduate School of International Studies Ajou University
Global energy trends reveal greater appreciation for energy conservation and improved energy efficiency. In the Energy Trilemma there is now increased importance of energy security and environmental responsibility compared to energy economics. In light of these standards it is not sustainable for any economy to tolerate high levels of inefficiencies and losses, and the general trend in the world in recent years has been for reduced Electricity System Losses. Despite this, Jamaica consistently has been among the 12 highest levels of Electricity System Losses in the world.
This study has shown that the level of Unemployment in Jamaica can be explicitly counted among the likely determinants for these high levels of Electricity System Losses. At least since 2002 there has been a significant direct positive correlation between Unemployment and Electricity System Losses even when only 85% of the population had Access to Electricity. Furthermore, as of 2007 when consistently over 90% of the Jamaican population has Access to Electricity, the amount of MWh of Electricity System Losses in Jamaica has been shown, by the analysis conducted in this investigation, to be statistically correlated to the number of Unemployed persons with a Pearson Coefficient of Correlation of 0.69, and a Spearman rank coefficient of 0.62. The bivariate linear regression, used in this study to model the relationship between Electricity System Losses and Unemployment in Jamaica, rejected the null hypothesis. It is however recommended that other factors need to be considered, since it was also clearly established that the Electricity Losses are not determined solely by the poor and unemployed people.
A qualitative review of best practices in addressing Electricity System Losses worldwide underscored the importance of developing robust, albeit culturally tailored, Government policies especially for mitigating non-technical losses. This study proposed three such policy actions, to target the calculated potential economic impact of approximately 17,000 Million US dollars related to 5 years of System Losses, as well as other intangibles.