Govt considering bagasse, fuel co-generation to augment power generation capacity

DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson today said Government’s vision is to ensure the provision of stable, affordable and reliable energy to all Guyanese within an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable framework.

Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson.

The minister was today speaking during the opening of a workshop dubbed ‘Scaling up renewable energy in Guyana’ hosted by the Department of the Environment (DoE) in collaboration with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) at the Pegasus Hotel.

Minister Patterson said while Guyana is presently highly dependent on petroleum fuel imports to meet its energy demands, the Government remains cognisant that the country possesses a wealth of natural resources that can provide the country with significant options for the development of renewable energy sources.

Through frameworks such as the National Energy Policy, the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) and supporting fiscal incentives, Minister Patterson said the government will be able to scale up its natural resources to meet the country’s energy demands and attain the goal under the Paris Agreement of achieving as close as possible, 100 percent renewable energy use by 2025.

“We are looking to eventually develop two medium-scale hydro plants for the national grid ranging from 150 to 180 megawatts and 150 to 350 megawatts respectively, while also dedicating focus to the development of mini hydro plants in hinterland regions,” the minister informed.

He assured that there is a concerted effort in delivering renewable energy to rural residents.

In addition, the minister said varying scales of solar farms will be commissioned across the country starting with the solar farm at Mabaruma.  This is scheduled to be commissioned within one or two months.

A feasibility study is presently ongoing for the development of a wind farm and opportunities for bagasse and fuel co-generation to augment Guyana’s power generation capacity.

Power generation options from rice husk and wood waste are also under review.

A section of the gathering at the renewable energy workshop.

Minister Patterson noted that, “notwithstanding these projects we must cater for the development of appropriate legal and technical framework that take into account the ability of public suppliers, transmission and distribution infrastructure to absorb power supplies of intermittent nature, the level of firm capacity to ensure stable and reliable power supply and maintaining the viability of public utilities”.

The recently completed grid code is under review by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and is expected to create the opportunity for renewable energy to be integrated through the inclusion of Independent power producers (IPPs) with generation capacities of 1.5 Megawatts minimum, to the Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL’s) grid.

The minister further noted that “from this perspective scaling up does not just mean larger incentives, rather it means inclusion and expansion so that communities and entities lead as models through growth”.

It is therefore paramount, Minister Patterson said, that the country learns, builds and develops an understanding of renewable energy so that the associated challenges that may hinder ‘green gold’ are overridden.

The Minister expressed gratitude to GGGI for its partnership with the Government of Guyana in its scaling up efforts.

The cooperation between the public and private sectors in scaling up renewable energy in Guyana is a welcomed initiative by the Government, he noted.

The two-day workshop will focus on topics such as grid management, interconnection and integration for utility-scale renewable energy and overview of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology and solar energy potential in Guyana’s commercial and industrial sectors.

 

By: Stacy Carmichael

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