Press Release – Cost of energy to be reduced by at least 50 percent in five years – Prime Minister

-Country to see substantial upgrades to energy sector 

Prime Minister Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips, this morning, said the Government is committed to providing stable and reliable energy for both domestic and commercial purposes with the aim of reducing its cost by at least 50 percent over the next five years.

High on the agenda of the Government is to significantly upgrade the energy sector.

“[We] will pursue a programme with an energy mix that includes hydropower, natural gas, solar and wind, which will lead to more than 400 megawatts of newly installed capacity for residential and commercial users over the next five years, and a reduction in the cost of energy by at least fifty percent,” he said. 

The Prime Minister also said that the Government will take urgent action to improve and upgrade the transmission and distribution of energy (the national grid). 

He was at the time delivering remarks to the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Latin American Energy Organisation (OLADE) at a Ministerial Roundtable.

In keeping with the theme: “Leaving no one behind – how to build inclusiveness into sustainable recovery,” the PM noted that Guyana’s policy to develop a low carbon and climate resilient economy is outlined in the country’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), which mandates maintaining low deforestation rates and the sustainable use of resources over generations.

Additionally, he said the Government is committed to exploring all possibilities for the use of natural gas for electricity production. 

The completion of the Amaila Falls Hydroelectric project, the expansion of the Hinterland Electrification Programme to benefit 25,000 households and the development of mini-hydropower grid-tied systems in towns such as Lethem and Bartica, are also on the agenda.

“These actions will lead to a modernised energy sector with an increased mix of clean and renewable resources that provides affordable, reliable and clean energy services for all in the most sustainable manner,” the PM noted.

The Prime Minister added that Latin America and the Caribbean can ensure energy access and inclusiveness as an integral part of recovery measures, through improved data collection and knowledge sharing, support for investment promotion, access to grant funding and concessional financing, and the sharing of policies and programmes among other initiatives.

Head of the Energy Division, International Development Bank, Ariel Yépez, in response to the Prime Minister, hailed Guyana’s energy agenda as ambitious. 

He said, “We are glad to hear that you are working on a huge commitment to reduce the energy access gap … congratulations.”  

The ILA-OLADE Ministerial Roundtable is a virtual high-level dialogue in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), aimed at creating “insights for defining Latin America’s regional energy agenda for a post COVID-19 era.” 

The event involved the participation of several ministers from Latin American countries, leaders of international organisations, and officials from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Along with Guyana’s Prime Minister, Ministers and representatives with responsibility for Energy from Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia were also in virtual attendance.

The outcome of the meeting is expected to form part of the discussions in next month’s OLADE’s 50th Meeting of Ministers.

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