The establishment of a 1.0 MW solar farm and two hydropower plants will see residents of Lethem using fully renewable energy by 2023, according to Vanessa Benn, the lead coordinator for the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030.
She said, “by next year, the town of Lethem will be fully equipped with clean and renewable energy, from water and from the sun.” This will reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels and contribute to the achievement of the Government’s LCDS.
According to the draft LCDS 2030, Guyana has some of the highest electricity rates in the Americas and is about 97% dependent on imported fossil fuels. It noted that with a growing demand for electricity and the retirement of aged generators, the price for electricity will not be reduced without alternatives.
As such, the plan is to meet the growing electricity demand mainly through a combination of natural gas and the Amaila Falls Hydropower plant, coupled with a major expansion of solar power by 2027. From 2027 to 2032, the document states that there will be expansion of wind and solar power and the commission of Guyana’s second hydro plant, while from 2032 onwards, expansion will be determined by prevailing market conditions. However, it is likely that battery technology will be sufficiently advanced to enable solar and wind plants to provide most new capacity increases while contributing to further downward pressure on electricity prices.
Benn in an interview with Big Smith News Watch noted that the LCDS 2030 continues to build on the previous strategies to create a pathway for Guyana to transition into a low carbon economy, by using clean energy.
According to Benn “the Guyana Energy Agency along with other people from the energy sector have done various models to show, how we can use the resources that we are blessed with to create clean, renewable forms of energy.”