Cost of energy to be reduced by at least 50% in five years – PM tells int’l forum

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Prime Minister Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips Wednesday morning told an international energy forum that the Government is committed to providing stable and reliable energy for both domestic and commercial purposes with the aim of reducing its cost by at least 50 per cent over the next five years.

“[We] will pursue a programme with an energy mix that includes hydropower, natural gas, solar and wind, which will lead to more than 400 megawatts of newly installed capacity for residential and commercial users over the next five years, and a reduction in the cost of energy by at least fifty per cent,” he said.

He was at the time delivering remarks to the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Latin American Energy Organisation (OLADE) at a Ministerial Roundtable.

According to a statement from the Office of the President, the Prime Minister also said that the Government will take urgent action to improve and upgrade the transmission and distribution of energy (the national grid).

Additionally, he said the Government is committed to exploring all possibilities for the use of natural gas for electricity production.

The PM noted that Guyana’s policy to develop a low carbon and climate-resilient economy is outlined in the country’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), which mandates maintaining low deforestation rates and the sustainable use of resources over generations.

According to the Office of the President, the completion of the Amaila Falls Hydroelectric Project, the expansion of the Hinterland Electrification Programme to benefit 25,000 households and the development of mini-hydropower grid-tied systems in towns such as Lethem and Bartica, are also on the agenda.

“These actions will lead to a modernised energy sector with an increased mix of clean and renewable resources that provides affordable, reliable and clean energy services for all in the most sustainable manner,” the PM noted.

Head of the Energy Division, International Development Bank, Ariel Yépez, in response to the Prime Minister, hailed Guyana’s energy agenda as ambitious.

He said, “We are glad to hear that you are working on a huge commitment to reduce the energy access gap … congratulations.”

The ILA-OLADE Ministerial Roundtable is a virtual high-level dialogue in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), aimed at creating “insights for defining Latin America’s regional energy agenda for a post-COVID-19 era.”

The event involved the participation of several ministers from Latin American countries, leaders of international organisations, and officials from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Along with Guyana’s Prime Minister, Ministers and representatives with responsibility for Energy from Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia were also in virtual attendance.

The outcome of the meeting is expected to form part of the discussions in next month’s OLADE’s 50th Meeting of Ministers.

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