VP Jagdeo issues fresh challenge to Kaieteur News publisher following his failure to produce US 5 cents per kwh solar energy producer
–“What I’m hoping to do, is to correct your misguided notions” – VP tells Lall
Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday issued a fresh challenge to Kaieteur News publisher, Glenn Lall, to present a proposal from an investor willing to supply solar power at US five cents per kilowatt hour after he failed to deliver on his end of a commitment to find the investor.
For context, Lall, in an interview with the vice president on September 13, 2022, told his listeners that the cost to produce electricity in today’s world is about US three cents, however Dr Jagdeo while pointing out how unrealistic Lall’s estimate is, challenged him to find an investor who would produce at a much higher figure of five US cents instead.
Lall agreed and also committed to issuing a public apology for misleading the nation if he failed to accomplish the feat within three weeks.
To date Lall has shown no evidence of even searching for a company that will produce electricity at US five cents per kilowatt hour for Guyana.
During Thursday’s press conference Lall purported that a potential investor had reached out to the vice president and was subsequently turned away.
In response, the VP threw out the new challenge that within two weeks, Lall send a proposal from his investor for the supply of solar power at US 5 cents per kilowatt hour.
“Send it to us, release it to the media, and then we will have a public engagement with the country, and we will invite the whole press corps to sit in on the negotiations with the company.
“What I’m hoping to do, is to correct your misguided notions that somehow baseload solar power is available and cheap now,” the VP asserted.
Solar power generation is a key facet of the government’s efforts to reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels and transition Guyana to sustainable sources of alternative energy.
Dr Jagdeo previously stated the lowest offer government has received to date will see power being generated at about eight cents per kilowatt without battery storage.
Currently, citizens pay some US 32 cents per kwh, a cost which Dr Jagdeo agreed is too high.
The VP questioned Lall, “You think you are smarter than all the technical people in the world? Why isn’t the United States only going for solar? Why isn’t Saudi Arabia only doing solar if they can get baseload solar power for US 3 cents per kilowatt hour, 24 hours a day? It is not possible at this time.”
He added that while solar panels have gotten cheaper over time, the magnitude of running a national grid is a costly endeavour.
The 300-megawatt power plant will generate 250 megawatts (MW) of power for approximately 220,000 households that are connected to the grid.
During the September 2022 interview, the vice president, in pointing out that Lall’s claim is not feasible, noted that many countries are building more gas power plants and exploring the market for more oil and gas supplies to compensate for the resources lost as a result of sanctions imposed on Russia.
The vice president had said, it is clear that the world cannot achieve net zero carbon emissions without gas being used as a transitional fuel. This, he noted, has been accepted by the US, Europe, and several other nations.