Govt’s 2018 energy programme to save taxpayers over $40M

DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Government’s 2018 energy efficiency programme is anticipated to save taxpayers $45.5M in energy costs.

In his presentation of the 2018 budget in the National Assembly yesterday, Finance Minister, Winston Jordan explained that Guyana’s Nationally Determined Contribution under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), specifies that Guyana has to develop a 100 percent renewable energy supply by 2025 and the government will honour that commitment.

Solar farm.

“We have and will continue to prioritise interventions in solar, hydropower and other renewable sources as well as energy efficient technologies. This assurance is also expected to be related to the Green State Development,” Minister Jordan said.

The Finance Minister noted that government has already expressed deep and open reservations about the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project as the primary hydropower solution. He added that due to unresolved technical, cost, environmental and other issues the main sponsor Sithe Global has withdrawn from the project.

However, the government has opted for a comprehensive energy mix with natural gas being actively considered as a major component. In the interim, the government is currently examining the possibility of hydropower projects at Kumu Falls and Moco Falls.

“Together, they are anticipated to generate sufficient power to meet the demands of  planned  households  and  industrial  zones  within  the  immediate  and surrounding  communities.  We will package these projects in a manner that would attract investors’ interests,” Minister Jordan said.

Further, government buildings, such as ministries, schools, and health centers continue to be outfitted with solar photovoltaic panels to reduce government’s dependence on the national grid.

According to the Finance Minister, to date 70 buildings have been equipped with solar panels resulting in a 1.86 gigawatt of power savings. In 2018, another 74 buildings will be equipped. Also, thus far 10,427 light-emitting diode (LED) lamps and 3,766 motion sensors have been placed in 46 buildings. In 2018, emphasis will be placed on installing an additional 10,610 lamps and 1,486 motion sensors.

These initiatives stem from the 2017 National Budget, as part of the government’s move towards a ‘Green Economy’ which was adopted since assumption to office in 2015. As President Granger explained his administration is “drafting a comprehensive, clean energy plan to guide our transition to sustainable energy generation, which will enable us to receive renewable and reliable energy at a reduced cost for households, industries and hinterland communities,”

 

By: Ranetta La Fleur

 

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