Diversifying Guyana’s energy matrix for better business

DPI, GUYANA, Wednesday, October 11, 2017

With projected energy demand expected to double in 10 years’ time, diversifying Guyana’s energy matrix is important for supply to meet demand, Director of the Guyana Energy Agency, Mahender Sharma noted.

The panel on energy (from left to right): Director of the GEA Mahender Sharma, Parliamentary Opposition Member Bishop Juan Edghill, IDB Representative Jaime Sologuren Blanco and President of the GMSA, Shyam Nokta.

At today’s energy panel, during day one of the Guyana Business Summit, Sharma noted that an “optimal mix” of energy sources comprised of hydro, wind, solar, bio and thermal energy is needed if Guyana is to provide “sufficient redundancy and support”.

The two-day Summit is being hosted by the Private Sector Commission at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown.

Reducing dependency on fossil fuels, deploying indigenous renewable energy and attaining universal access and equitable geographic distribution of green energy services at reduced cost to consumers are all outlined in the draft Energy Policy.

Sharma noted that the next issue would be “how quickly” the country can develop these alternative energies to supply the country. While there “is definitely need for hydro” energy as outlined in the Policy in which the government has established a team to examine this alternative, Sharma stated.

Additionally, he noted that the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) is exploring wind farms. Already, advertisements are out for three-megawatts solar PV farms. “We are thinking of a 26-megawatt source coming from wind over the next few years,” Sharma disclosed.

Four wind measuring towers are expected to be erected along the coast of Guyana to further identify and verify the suitability of sites for large wind farms.

IDB’s Energy Expert, Jaime Sologuren Blanco.

It is also expected that more 3.2MW of brand new solar will be installed in this year alone. “Yes, its tiny, it’s still less than five percent of our total demand but it’s a step in the right direction. It’s a step in the direction of reducing our vulnerabilities from one energy source like we currently are,” Sharma said.

Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Jaime Blanco noted that Guyana is in a privileged position to diversify its energy matrix in a sustainable manner given its geographical location and available natural resources.

Blanco, an energy expert, noted that there is the possibility for GPL’s facilities to be converted to supply energy generated from natural gas. However, this must be substantiated by a feasibility study, Blanco advised.

The government has indicated it will examine the possibility of bringing the associated gas found with the oil in the Liza field, by ExxonMobil and its partners, to shore. According to Sharma, that gas, which is approximately 30-50 million standard cubic feet, is enough to power a 200MW plant.

Meanwhile, the private sector has made it clear that cheaper energy is key to improved performance in various commercial and industrial sectors. President of the GMSA and member of the PSC, Shyam Nokta, noted that the for the private sector, the objective remains stable, reliable, affordable energy supply.  Energy, Nokta stressed, is “critical” to move the private sector from primary producers to value-added producers.

 

By: Tiffny Rhodius

President of GMSA, Shyam Nokta.

Director of the Guyana Energy Agency, Mahender Sharma.

 

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