Oil wealth to fund investments in sustainable energy – President Ali

Among the transformation that will come with the accumulation of Guyana’s oil wealth, the solar and sustainable energy sector is expected to see phenomenal growth.

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, disclosed this during a recent interview with global news outlet, Al Jazeera.

During the conversation, Dr Ali outlined the government’s intention to replace carbon-based fuels in Guyana with renewable energy, with the goal of cutting power cost by half.

This will be made possible by investing the money Guyana earns from the sale of crude oil.

“We have a very old grid system. Our power is driven by fossil fuel. The demand for power has grown exponentially. So, we’re investing in solar, hydro, wind, and natural gas as part of our energy mix,” he explained.

In 2022, the government made investments of over $1.4 billion towards the construction of solar farms at Lethem in Region Nine, Bartica in Region Seven, and Mahdia in Region Eight.

The three farms, when combined, produce some 3.1 megawatts of electricity.

Prior to the operationalisation of the farms, the Amerindian villages now benefitting, utilised expensive diesel generators, with some areas receiving no power.

In the village of Kato, an hour and a half’s flight from Georgetown and the coastal power grid, solar energy now powers the school’s new computer lab, lights and air conditioning system.

“We are pursuing a programme to provide some 30,000 solar home systems to communities that are distant and far removed from the National Grid,” Mahender Sharma, head of the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), told Al Jazeera.

The government has expended major revenue thus far towards sustainable energy development, including the solar farms project, hydropower projects, and continue to explore further avenues to ensure a sustainable power system that outlasts the use of fossil fuels.

All this will be achieved in the government’s plan for Guyana: 2030 and beyond.

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