Prime Minister Mark Phillips highlights progress in energy sector

– Says that Guyana is employing rigorous efforts to prioritise innovative clean energy solutions

Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d), the Honourable Mark Phillips, who is performing the duties of President, highlighted the significant progress that Guyana has made in the energy sector and outlined the country’s plan to transition to clean, renewable energy.

Prime Minister Mark Phillips, in his keynote address to the Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo on Wednesday, said that there is, “no trade-off between fossil fuel and renewables,” adding that through innovations, “we will pursue transitional and transformative energy solutions”.

Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d), the Honourable Mark Phillips

Reinforcing the nation’s steadfast commitment to an equitable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly future for all, Prime Minister Phillips underscored the pressing need for climate-resilient action amidst the global climate crises, stating, “The time for climate-resilient action is now.”

The Prime Minister also outlined the government’s robust policies and technology-driven solutions aimed at providing equitable and affordable access to clean and renewable energy while reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels nationwide.

He affirmed that “Clean energy is pivotal in Guyana’s energy transformation and long-term sustainability goals. It is fundamental to our environmental, social, economic, and human development. The Government of Guyana has adopted robust policies, cost-effective technologies, and energy-efficient solutions to provide Guyanese with equitable and affordable access to clean and renewable energy while reducing the use of imported fossil fuels countrywide.”

Through the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030, the government is prioritising innovative clean energy solutions to harness Guyana’s abundant natural resources in an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable manner. This strategy, according to PM Phillips, includes significant investments.

“Through the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030, the Government of Guyana is employing rigorous efforts to prioritise innovative clean energy solutions using its natural resources for national benefit. We are focusing on significant infrastructure investments, developing our energy sector, bolstering healthcare services, and diversifying our agriculture sector.”

Anticipating a surge in electricity demand in the coming years, Prime Minister Phillips highlighted the role of natural gas as a transition fuel alongside renewable energy sources such as solar PV, hydropower, and wind. He outlined the government’s ambitious plan to install over 500 megawatts of new capacity in the next five years, aiming to reduce electricity costs by fifty per cent.

Despite challenges, Guyana’s efforts in advancing clean and renewable energy projects have made significant strides. According to the Prime Minister, the installation of a 300MW natural gas-to-energy power plant is a testament to the country’s commitment to transforming its energy sector. He also stressed the importance of natural gas, noting its role as the cleanest-burning hydrocarbon and its projected growth in global demand.

“Guyana has established a Gas to Energy Taskforce to ensure this important project is implemented in alignment with the Government’s vision. In 2023, the task force achieved landmark objectives towards implementing the project. In 2024, building on the progress made in the previous year, the Gas-to-Energy Project is on track for startup by the end of the year.”

During his remarks, the Prime Minister explained that in addition to natural gas, Guyana is harnessing its hydropower potential with projects like the 165MW Amaila Falls Hydropower Project, aimed at generating cheaper and cleaner energy for all Guyanese. The government is also investing in solar PV technology, grid upgrades, and off-grid solar systems to enhance energy access, particularly in hinterland communities.

“With a budget allocation of G$95.7 billion for the energy sector in the 2024 National Budget, Guyana is poised to advance its clean energy agenda.”

He announced that the government plans to invest in additional baseload capacity, transmission and distribution upgrades, as well as the completion of various solar and hydropower projects across the country.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Phillips underlined the need for skills development initiatives and local content participation in the industry. To this end, he noted,  the government is collaborating with institutions such as the University of Guyana in building a skilled workforce capable of driving Guyana’s clean energy revolution.

“A key component to the success of our budding energy sector is the ownership and involvement of our people. Therefore, governments will look to robust skills development initiatives for the workforce, local procurement opportunities and capacity building for local suppliers and contractors.”

Additionally, the Honourable Prime Minister Phillips reiterated Guyana’s commitment to advancing global efforts in addressing climate change and the transition to clean energy for the benefit of all Guyanese.  

“Significant progress has been made in accelerating clean and renewable energy access, and we are committed to working towards achieving a low-carbon economy.”

He also praised conference attendees for their continued dialogue on energy sector issues and expressed optimism for ongoing partnerships and investments in Guyana.

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