PM outlines exciting transformation of Guyana’s energy sector
Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), the Honourable Mark Phillips, today outlined an exciting transformation in the energy sector of Guyana, which will reduce cost and enhance service.
The senior government official, who gave opening remarks on day three of the ‘International Energy Conference and Expo Guyana 2022’ at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown, pointed to a more sustainable energy future.
He said that clean energy and energy efficiency will play important parts in transforming Guyana’s energy landscape as the Government intends to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels and place people at the centre of the energy transformation process.
CLEAN ENERGY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY
Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030 was described as the guiding policy behind this change.
“Our Government is currently embarking on its commitment to achieving a low carbon economy and advancing the transition away from conventional energy sources. Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030 is geared towards a massive expansion of renewable and clean energy across the country.”
The Prime Minister explained that the country’s future will depend heavily on developing low carbon energy resources such as solar, hydro, wind, biomass, and natural gas, to meet the rising demand and to keep greenhouse gas emissions low.
“Under this strategy, we will advance an energy mix that will lead to more than 500 megawatts of newly installed capacity over the next five years “.
It was explained that over the next decade-plus, the country’s energy sector will undergo three stages.
The first stage will see the use of natural gas, the realisation of the Amaila Falls Hydro plant, a significant expansion of solar energy and battery operated systems to cater to rural networks by 2027.
The second stage will be realised by 2030. It involves the continued replacement of HFO, expansion of wind and solar energy and the commissioning of Guyana’s second hydropower plant which will be identified before 2025.
Prime Minister Phillips said that the third stage will commence from 2032 onwards where future expansion will be determined by prevailing market conditions. He said that it is likely that battery and hydrogen technology will be sufficiently advanced to enable solar and wind to provide new capacity increases while contributing to the possible further reduction in electricity costs.
However, he emphasized that there are more immediate mechanisms that are currently being undertaken.
The Prime Minister said that as part of the Government’s Low Carbon Development Strategy, it will be pursuing low carbon transportation infrastructure.
“We intend to foster the development of an electric vehicle industry to substitute fossil fuels with electricity…to this end, the installation of fast-charging stations for electric vehicles will be piloted in 2022 in Regions Three, Four and Six”.
Those actions he said would be supplemented with future initiatives to increase efficiency levels of vehicle consumption of fuel.
Additionally, 200 unserved communities will begin utilising clean energy within the next two years.
“Projects are underway to improve people-centred energy access through investments in solar PV systems for off-grid areas and the development of micro-grids for large hinterland areas, leading to the expansion of our Hinterland Electrification Programme.”
The projects include the installation of 13 utility-scale solar PV farms, 30,000 solar home systems for Hinterland and riverain communities, 20 solar PV mini-grids for public buildings in the Hinterland, over 180 solar PV stand-alone systems for the Government’s ICT Hubs, and the installation of a three-megawatt grid-connected solar PV system at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.
Prime Minister Phillips noted that providing sustainable energy for all Guyanese has far-reaching economic, environmental and social benefits.
“In addition to serving domestic needs, it is important to link rural electrification efforts to productive activities such as ICT, commerce, and agro-processing to allow for greater community involvement, retention of skills in the community and long-term sustainability.”
Additionally, this rapid transformation and growth in the sector would lead to the creation of many jobs.
“Capacity building, training and public awareness have to be incorporated so that our citizens can actively participate in opportunities for job creation and the development of small and medium-sized enterprises….women, youth, and vulnerable groups will be encouraged to actively participate in these opportunities”.
The Prime Minister noted that the Government of Guyana is ready to work with stakeholders to revolutionise the sector.