Jan 10, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Despite numerous attempts in seeking answers, the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Incorporated continues to dodge questions from Kaieteur News regarding the country’s energy demand and how it is expected to grow within the next ten years.
Kaieteur News thought it necessary to ascertain these details with the advent of natural gas and other forms of energy being discussed and introduced to Guyana. With this in mind, this publication on December 17, 2020 had reached out to the state agency’s Public Relations Officer, Shevion Sears, requesting the details on what is the country’s current electricity demand, and how it is expected to grow within the next ten years, among other energy supply issues.
Sears had acknowledged the email on the same day, stating that she would “action” Kaieteur News’ request. A follow up email was sent to the PRO on December 29, requesting an update on when the request would be fulfilled, but no response ensued. Calls were even made to contact the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bharat Dindyal, but even those attempts proved futile.
The Institute of the Americas is advising Guyana to conduct an assessment of the country’s power demand before it brings its natural gas to shore, which might force it to accept an oversupply of gas and leave the energy sector financially unsustainable.
In the Institute’s report titled, ‘Guyana’s Gas-to-Power Potential,’ author Kathryn Hillis said that, while there are significant reliability problems when it comes to electricity in Guyana, taking too much gas at a time would likely result in oversupply for the nation’s 750,000 people.
“Gas should be brought onshore through a phased approach,” Hillis had written, “in which the government only purchases incremental natural gas as electricity demand increases and infrastructure is developed, so Guyana does not accumulate any unnecessary gas surplus.”
The Institute had advised that government first focus should be on providing power to coastal areas, then attempt to supply power to the hinterlands after sufficient infrastructure has been developed in the area.
The Institute saw it pertinent to weigh in, after seeing that Ghana signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to bring its gas to shore, and its failure to properly assess its energy needs at the right time has left the African nation struggling to find uses for the gas it is paying hundreds of millions of dollars for.
Also in the mix are renewable forms of energy, such as solar, wind and hydro. Many foreign institutions have expressed interest in investing in renewable energy in Guyana, with its latest being Fortescue Metal Group (FMG).
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), Dr. Peter Ramsaroop, had said earlier this week that the company is seeking to establish operations in three countries and have shown keen interest in Guyana.
During a recent visit to Guyana, Fortescue had discussed the harnessing of renewable energy from the Amalia Falls Hydropower Project – another renewable energy project – to produce green energy products such as ammonia, hydrogen, fertilisers and metals for both local and foreign markets.
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