The Guyana Utility Scale Solar Photovoltaic Programme (GUYSOL) is set to significantly decrease the amount payable in electricity subsidies for Lindeners.
This was disclosed by GUYSOL Programme Director, Amir Dillawar, during an interview with DPI.
“This will now free capital, and investments could now be made elsewhere. Rather than the government spending tens of millions of dollars in electricity subsidies, whatever savings are there can be reprogrammed for the people of Linden.”
In December, the Parliamentary Committee of Supply approved $1.7 billion for the expenses of the Linden Electricity Company, as part of the $47 billion supplementary spending. Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, who has responsibility for the energy sector, said this amount would facilitate the continuation of Linden subsidies. This is a representation of the government’s continuous efforts to cushion the increase in fuel prices.
The project is funded under the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation and will see investments in eight utility-scale solar photovoltaic systems in Linden, Essequibo and Berbice.
The fund also extends beyond covering the cost of installation of the energy infrastructure. It allows for the facilitation of women empowerment-centred activities, specifically targeting women in the communities
A similar programme was done by the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) in collaboration with the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) to integrate women into the energy sector. This programme was also supported by a loan funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Another programme being facilitated under the fund is an Energy Apprenticeship Programme, which is expected to roll out later this year. The programme will see young professionals from across the country being attached to select execution units within the organisation.
“These are units where we are running and administering multilateral-funded energy programmes. The idea is to have staff train individuals, not just in engineering, but also in other aspects of administering these programmes, such as procurement,” Dillawar stated
The fund also facilitates upgrades to the systems in Linden and Essequibo especially, for a transition from manually-operated structures to automated, more reliable and stable systems.
“We have some financing in the programme to allow us to be able to remotely monitor and operate all of the farms that will be built in those two areas, and bring some level of digitisation to the system,” Dillawar noted.
This US $83 million is part of the US $220.8 million earned by Guyana through its forest climate services through its partnership with Norway during the previous People’s Progressive Party/ Civic’s term in office.
The objective of the programme is to diversify Guyana’s economy and facilitate a smooth transition to cleaner, cheaper, renewable energy sources. In keeping with Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy, some 265,000 consumers within the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System, Linden Electrical system and Essequibo system are set to benefit from fortified renewable energy.