Comprehensive energy mix under consideration – Finance Minister

All smiles: Minister of State, Joseph Harmon (left) and PPP/C MP Juan Edghill on their way to Parliament Chambers for Monday’s presentation of the 2018 budget.

In keeping with government’s commitment to develop 100 percent renewable energy by 2025, Finance Minister Winston Jordan on Monday informed that a comprehensive energy mix is being actively considered.

In addressing government’s plan for the energy sector during his 2018 National Budget presentation, he stated that government continues to explore its options for realising substantial conversion to renewable sources by 2025. Guyana has made a commitment in this regard under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), he said.

“This Government intends to honour this commitment to our people and the world. We have, and will continue to prioritise interventions in solar, hydropower and other renewable sources, as well as energy efficient technologies”, he said adding that this commitment is also expected to be restated in the government’s Green State Development Strategy.

While making it clear that hydropower continues to be an integral part of the renewable options, Jordan said that Government has already expressed deep and open reservations about the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project being the primary hydropower solution. “ In addition to unresolved technical, cost, environmental and other issues, the main sponsor, Sithe Global, has withdrawn from the project”, he reminded while adding that it is due to this fact that Government has now opted for a comprehensive energy mix with natural gas being actively considered as a prime component.

In the meantime, he informed government is currently examining the feasibility of hydropower projects at Kumu Falls and Moco Moco Falls. Together, they are anticipated to generate sufficient power to meet the demands of planned households and industrial zones within the immediate and 48 surrounding communities. He said government will package these projects in a manner that would attract investors’ interests.

Two and a half years after coming to office, the government continues to mention its doubts about the Amaila Falls hydro project but it is yet to present anything of a comparable size. This has also been one of the sticking points  in its bilateral forest protection deal with the Kingdom of Norway.

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