US$37.2 million from Norway for solar projects

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Guyana and Norway have agreed on the expeditious release of 300 million Norwegian Kroners (US$37.2 million) for solar and other renewable energy projects in Guyana.

This follows a meeting last week between representatives of the Government of Guyana and Norway in Oslo.

The funding will come from the remaining disbursements of the US$250 million forest-saving deal with Norway agreed to under the presidency of former President Bharrat Jagdeo.

The funding includes a reassignment of the US$80 million which was tied to the Amaila Falls Hydro Project, which has since been cancelled.

The first year, after the financing becomes available, will see a 15% displacement of reliance on fossil fuels.

Between the second and third years, the projection is to move to 50% displacements of fossil fuel.

“Our frontline arrangements (for provision of energy) will be solar,” Joseph Harmon, Minister of State, said Thursday.

Harmon said there would be various sizes of solar farms which could amount to a total of 100 megawatts. These farms he said would be located close to sub-stations of the Guyana Power and Light company so there would be an easy connection to the national grid.

“I am delighted that we now have strong agreement with the Government of Guyana on a way forward for our partnership”, stated Minister of Climate and Environment of Norway, Ola Elvestuen, after the meeting.

In a joint statement, it was noted that the two governments noted the impressive results of Guyana in maintaining its extremely low rates of deforestation, and President David Granger’s administration’s strong push to maintain increasing parts of Guyana’s unique rainforests intact.

The statement added: “They also noted good progress on forest governance issues, in accordance with the letter and spirit of their partnership. The partners also emphasized the importance of the Government of Guyana’s determination to move towards close to one hundred percent clean and renewable energy supply by 2025, and its desire in that context to embark on a strong push to increase the amounts of solar power in Guyana’s energy mix.”

It was on this basis that the two parties agreed to move as expeditiously as possible to enable the deployment of Norway’s results based contributions – both those currently held by the Inter-American Development Bank, and outstanding results based payments of 300 million Norwegian kroners – towards the realization of this ambition.

“We are enthusiastic about this agreement on the way forward for our partnership. This is important to Guyana and Norway and will also provide an example to the world”, Harmon was quoted as saying.

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