Guyana steadily advancing renewable energy projects − GEA

The government is steadily advancing a gamut of projects aimed at ensuring that Guyanese benefit from renewable energy in line with its commitment to fostering an environmentally and energy-efficient economy. 

Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), Dr Mahender Sharma speaking on day three of the International Energy Conference and Expo at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown, highlighted a host of benefits that speak to the value of the government’s undertaking of several renewable energy projects.

Dr Mahender Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, Guyana Energy Agency

In this regard, he recalled the genesis of the one-megawatt solar farm at Lethem, Region Nine, valued at $472 million and commissioned in August of last year. It was anticipated to save approximately $136 million annually.

He said, “Since its installation, it has generated or displaced some 1,145 drums of diesel.”

This means that the system has been providing a continuous source of power to over 1,400 households.

Similar projects in are already underway in Kumu and Moco Moco.

Additionally, the 1.5MW solar farm at Dagg Point, Bartica has been completed and will facilitate an annual reduction of approximately 714,648 litres in diesel consumption.

Dr Sharma disclosed that the Bartica Solar forms part of an Inter-American Development Bank-funded project to add 3.75MWp to four hinterland communities.

He said this will start in Lethem and Bartica and finish in Mahdia and Leguan.

The CEO told the conference that 19 solar-powered mini-grids are in the commissioning phase across the country.

The mini-grid is an aggregation of several energy generators, powered by one main grid to disperse electricity to a small, local group of beneficiaries.

Nine of these mini-grids have already been completed, with 28 communities set to benefit from this venture.

He highlighted that the government’s policies continue to lend support to the country’s transition to renewable energy.

In 2023, the budget provides for the removal of taxes for the importation of electric vehicles. This is in keeping with the government’s commitment to developing the country along a low-carbon pathway.

Meanwhile, the country’s workforce is also being continuously upskilled to cater to the transition.

Dr Sharma revealed that more than 25 mechanics and auto-electricians have already been trained in the maintenance of electric vehicles.

“The idea here is to allow the private sector to take advantage of these opportunities to invest in building charging stations… The idea is also to provide renewable energy in an environment that promotes a low carbon infrastructure,” he posited.

The primary programme under the renewable energy initiative is the Guyana Utility-Scale Solar Photovoltaic (GUYSOL) Programme which is a US$83.3 million investment in eight utility-scale solar photovoltaic systems in Linden, Essequibo and Berbice.

These solar projects total 33MWp and are intended to diversify Guyana’s economy and facilitate a smooth transition to cleaner, cheaper, renewable energy sources.