With the Christmas season approaching, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) is questioning the government’s plans for renewable energy as it vented its frustration over the constant unreliable power supply from the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Inc.
The organisation, in a statement issued on Friday, contended that the Power Company has neither the management nor capacity to guarantee reliable energy.
“Judging from this performance or, to be more accurate, absence of performance, GPL simply have neither the management nor the capacity to deliver a reliable power supply to the country and the government has consistently failed to address this reality,” the PSC stated.
GPL, owned by the government in a monopolistic environment, has within recent months, subjected the entire country to a series of unannounced and scheduled prolonged power outages.
The PSC asserted that there has been no credible explanation from GPL for these blackouts.
“To add insult to injury, the GPL recently, from 2nd September to 5th November, 2017, announced a series of scheduled maintenance power cuts which, in Georgetown alone, amount to a total of 149 hours spread between 17 sections of the city. In addition, power cuts averaging about five hours each were scheduled for the Essequibo Coast, Berbice, East and West Bank Demerara, West Coast Demerara, Soesdyke and East Canje,” the PSC said.
The umbrella body added that the majority of citizens do not scan the newspapers everyday to see when there is going to be a scheduled power cut and, as a result, are taken by surprise when the power goes out.
The PSC noted too that the majority of citizens are also not privileged with private generators to provide alternative power to save the food they have stored in the freezers and refrigerators.
Further, the body explained that Guyana’s manufacturing and commercial sectors cannot function in these circumstances.
“In this day and age, at the exorbitant price that we are expected to pay for electricity, Guyana’s population should not be subjected to this punishment. As the Christmas season approaches, this has now become an even more pressing source of concern for the populace,” the PSC said.
The organisation contended that the situation is “nothing short of a tragedy” that a country with such immense hydroelectric potential resources should be made to tolerate such frequent power outages.
The PSC further lamented that the plans of the previous administration to pursue the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project have been abandoned.
“The previous government, with support of the IDB and CDB and funding from Norway, negotiated a major American power company to build and operate the Amaila Falls Project. Our current government has put the Project in cold storage while offering no acceptable alternative. So where do we go from here?” the PSC questioned.