Gov’t pushing rooftop solar for commercial and industry use

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By Bibi Khatoon

The Government of Guyana is undertaking a project with the Korean Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) to develop rooftop solar for commercial and industry use in Guyana. The institute will be working with the private sector and look at options for climate finance.

Deputy Director of the Institute’s Energy, Investment and Policy Solutions Division, Carol Litwin, said the aim is to source financing before the end of 2018 to begin rolling out the project.

During an interview prior to the opening of a workshop on ‘Scaling up renewable energy in Guyana’ with public officials at the Pegasus Hotel on Tuesday morning, Litwin noted that a meeting will be held with the private sector on Thursday, where various financing models will be presented.

Carol Litwin

“First we need to find the projects and work with the private sector, then we bring those project to the financiers, they approve it, then next year it will be rolled out so we’re hoping by rolling it out in this way, that we will achieve scale and by achieving scale, we will bring down the prices…and that will allow Guyana to benefit and particularly the industry and the commercial sector to benefit from much lower technology prices for solar,” the Deputy Director explained.

Litwin noted that Guyana has a high potential of providing renewable energy in various forms but it is important that the technology prices are reduced. Solar for example, she said is too expensive.

There are currently two banks in Guyana which offer green credit lines which the Deputy Director said is being underutilized.

“We are looking at either what’s called a [Small Medium Enterprise] SME type of financing – it would be a fund that’s targeting industry and commercial customers that will be able to access long-term financing at good rates. The other option which is applied all over Asia …is what’s called the leasing model. This means the customers will be renting…the contracts are basically 20 to 25 years,” Litwin said.

In the long term, the project will reduce electricity cost but the institute’s representative emphasized that solar alone will not be able to meet the entire electricity cost and therefore will still need to be supplemented by the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) and/or backup generators.

Addressing the opening of the ceremony, Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson pointed out that the Government is working to meet its commitment under the Paris Climate Change agreement to utilize close to 100% renewable energy by 2025.

Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson

He outlined that the administration is looking to develop two medium-scale hydro-plants for the national grid ranging from 150-180 megawatts and 150-350 megawatts and mini hydro-plants in hinterland regions.

 

The Minister disclosed that within two months, a solar plant will be commissioned in Mabaruma while a feasibility study is being conducted on the establishment of a wind farm. 

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