New oil producer Guyana continues to advance steps towards greener energy sources. Senior Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh on Tuesday signed a US$83.3 million agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to fund eight utility-scale photovoltaic solar projects totalling 33 megawatt-peak (MWp).
The project is expected to bring affordable and clean energy to over 70,000 households once completed. It falls under the Guyana Utility-Scale Solar Photovoltaic Programme (GUYSOL) which paves the way for investments in such initiatives.
The US$83.3 million being used for this programme is part of the US$220.8 million earned by Guyana for forest climate services through its partnership with Norway during the previous People’s Progressive Party/ Civic’s (PPP/C’s) term in office. At that time, then President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo spearheaded and implemented Guyana’s first Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).
The earnings from Norway have since been invested in several key adaptation and socio-economic projects identified as part of the updated LCDS 2030 document. Some of the projects include the Micro and Small Enterprise Development project, Amerindian Land Titling, the creation of the Amerindian Development Fund, the Cunha Canal Adaptation, and ICT Access and e-Services for Hinterland, poor and remote communities.
Prime Minister, Brigadier (retired) Mark Phillips who was present at the signing pointed out that the programme once implemented will benefit thousands of persons in the country including women in rural areas. He also reminded that it will assist Guyana Power and Light (GPL) in decreasing fossil fuel use and moving to a greater use of renewable energy.
“So it is a transformative project for Guyana. We are thankful that the IDB has been working side by side with Guyana to utilize this money that was lying in an account for over six years and we are thankful for them bringing us to the stage at which we are,” the Prime Minister added.
Signing the agreement on behalf of the IDB was its Resident Representative (ag) Lorena Solorzano-Salazar.
In her brief remarks, the IDB official said this operation is framed within the partnership that Guyana had with Norway and will especially take the country to 19 percent renewables on the grid within about three years. “So this is an important milestone. This is in line with a kind of transformative change that is fully aligned with the IDB Vision 2025 and positive impacts of renewables ….and augers well for Guyana,” the official concluded.