Georgetown, (June 05, 2024) – The Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) observed World Environment Day (WED) 2024 by reaffirming its commitment to expanding renewable energy development and promoting sustainable practices across the country, in a stance to combat climate change and protect the environment.

Fulfilling its mandate to deliver reliable, sustainable energy and promote energy efficiency and conservation practices, the GEA remains resolute in advancing the Government of Guyana’s low-carbon development goals. The country’s transformative framework, the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030, is a blueprint to preserve its pristine rainforests and mitigate climate change while stimulating future growth. Under the LCDS 2030, the GEA prioritises integrating clean and renewable energy sources, innovative energy-efficient technologies, and cost-effective solutions to help align energy and climate security, maintaining the country’s net-zero position. On a global scale, this shift promises a cleaner environment, and the potential for restored land, reduced desertification, and increased drought resilience –in keeping with this year’s WED call to action.

Guyana has already developed an Energy Supply Matrix to build a sustainable, low-carbon economy. By utilising the country’s abundant clean and renewable energy resources, this matrix will provide a diverse energy mix that includes solar, hydro, wind, and natural gas. This energy plan aims to add over 500 megawatts (MW) of capacity to meet the country’s rising energy demands, reducing reliance on harmful fossil fuels and ultimately fostering climate security. By pursuing a cleaner energy mix, we can decouple economic growth from using more polluting energy sources such as heavy fuel oil and diesel and reduce carbon emissions associated with power generation by more than 70 per cent by 2030.

In observing World Environment Day 2024 under the theme, ‘Land Restoration, Desertification and Drought Resilience,’ the GEA joined millions of people worldwide to raise awareness about critical environmental issues, including climate change, and to promote the transition to clean and renewable energy sources and the adoption of enhanced sustainability practices in everyday life.

Moreover, the Government of Guyana, supported by the GEA, has moved to implement a suite of renewable energy projects and policy measures that will transform the country’s energy landscape. These projects will have multidimensional impacts on Guyana’s sustainable energy future. A 300-megawatt (MW) gas-to-energy plant will be constructed and contribute to a fifty per cent reduction in electricity costs. Additionally, the completion of the 165-megawatt (MW) Amaila Falls Hydroelectric Project (AFHP) will provide a clean, reliable, and affordable power supply. To further the diversification of the energy mix, other hydropower projects will be fully operational by 2025, including a 1.5-megawatt (MW) facility at Kumu, the rehabilitation and upgrade of a 0.7-megawatt (MW) plant at Moco Moco, and the construction of a 0.15-megawatt (MW) project at Kato.

To support rural electrification, the distribution of 30,000 Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Home Energy Systems (SHE) to improve electricity access to Hinterland and riverine communities has been implemented. Upon completion, the project will add a total capacity of 4.8 megawatts (MW). The project is expected to benefit over 200 communities and 30,000 households.

Also, investments continue to be made in roof-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and mini-grids for off-grid areas, along with developments in utility-scale solar farms. Renewable energy access will be expanded, and environmental sustainability enhanced through replacements and upgrades of existing mini-grid PV technologies and the development of new mini-grids in large Hinterland areas. Also, the country’s electric utility, Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL), will be adding 33 megawatts (MW) of utility-scale solar power to the main grid. This initiative will displace the use of fossil fuels and contribute to climate change mitigation by reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Additionally, there will be the installations of a 3-megawatt (MW) grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) power project at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, as well as the completion of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at eight (8) water treatment plants totalling 1.05-megawatt (MW), and a 0.3-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system at the Port Mourant water treatment plant in collaboration with the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI).

As World Environment Day highlighted the importance of embracing energy efficiency and conservation, the Light Emitting Diodes (LED) Lighting Project will encourage behavioural changes and promote sustainable energy consumption in households, businesses, and public buildings by replacing inefficient lighting technology with energy-efficient Light Emitting Diodes (LED) lamps in four (4) communities. The GEA is also facilitating an energy efficiency and conservation campaign that aims to sensitise the public on practical ways to use energy responsibly. By adopting these sustainable practices, people can reduce their carbon footprint, save money on their electricity bills, and contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment.

Guyana’s electric mobility industry is also growing. Six (6) public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations have already been installed, several fiscal measures were implemented to encourage electric vehicle (EV) adoption countrywide, training on EV Maintenance and Repairs was undertaken, and plans for industry expansion are being put in place. These initiatives will catalyse electric mobility development and encourage more people to transition to environmentally friendly transportation.

By prioritising these clean and renewable energy initiatives, the Government of Guyana, supported by the GEA, is working towards a sustainable future for Guyana. These initiatives will help the country to achieve its environmental and climate goals, paving the way for a low-carbon economy. This World Environment Day 2024 was a reminder of the urgent need for collective action to invest in clean and renewable energy and take a significant step towards finding innovative solutions to create a sustainable future for all.

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