GEA heightening efforts in 2017 to promote efficient energy use

GINA, GUYANA, Monday, January 23, 2017

The Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) will be intensifying efforts in 2017 to target rational and efficient use of energy. Chief Executive Officer (CEO), GEA Mahender Sharma said the company will do more sensitisation and education, through public education and technological interventions including replacing light emitting diode (LED) street lamps among others efforts to inculcate behavioural changes in Guyanese to avoid unnecessary energy consumption.

Chief Executive Officer, Guyana Energy Agency, Mahender Sharma

Speaking at the Ministry of Public Infrastructure’s year in review press conference, the CEO said that for 2017 energy consumption in Guyana is a critical issue and many persons do not manage their consumption effectively. This has resulted in many millions of dollars in losses which could have been used for development of the country.

“The Government’s commitment towards “greening” the economy, in recognition of our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), remains at the forefront of national priorities,” the CEO underlined.

Sharma noted that the government has made a budgetary allocation of G$1 Billion to implement a series of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in 2017.

This year GEA will be installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on the rooftops of approximately 64 government buildings and a PV farm in Mabaruma.  “With a combined installed capacity of 1.36 MW, these installations will result in annual energy savings of 1.86 GWh or 1,200 barrels of oil equivalent per year, annual cost savings of about $140M, and environmental benefits in the form of avoided carbon dioxide emissions of about 1,116 tonnes per year,” Sharma explained.

According to the CEO, this year the agency will undertake several energy efficiency programmes including the replacement of inefficient lights and the installation of over 10,000 light emitting diode (LED) lamps. More than 3,000 occupancy sensors will be installed in government buildings and 360 energy efficient street lights will be erected.

This intervention will result in annual energy savings of oil which would result in annual cost savings of approximately $54M, and avoided carbon dioxide emissions of 558 tonnes per year.

Additionally, 5,000 energy efficient street lamps will also be procured this year.  Sharma noted that this endeavor is in keeping with the drive towards a ‘green economy’ and will result in the replacement of existing inefficient 250W street lights with 120W energy LED street lamps, resulting in energy savings of about $158M annually.

Sharma explained that other benefits to be derived from this include a reduction in power demand of about 0.7MW and environmental benefits in the reduction of about 2,000 tons carbon dioxide emissions a year.

In his 2017 budget speech Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan said the government’s focus in 2017 is to build a diversified, green economy. The Minister said “we are determined to embed coherent and strategic planning within and across public departments, ministries, the regional system, and sectors in order to achieve an optimal mix of resource allocations that is geared to meet the desired outcomes.”

 

By: Ranetta La Fleur

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