With over 11 billion barrels of oil reserves (one of the highest levels per capita in the world) and GDP growth rates and fiscal revenues rising tremendously over time, Guyana, as a new oil producer, is at the threshold of a new era. At the same time, the Government of Guyana is embarking on a cleaner transformation for domestic electricity generation, taking advantage of its pristine forests (which make up over 80% of its landmass), as well as ambitious climate change commitments, (such as 74% renewables by 2040).
As an example of this commitment, the Government of Norway has recognized the critical focus that Guyana continues to have on decarbonization, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and maintaining the integrity of its forest. As such, Norway and Guyana signed an agreement that allocated revenues for maintaining the integrity of Guyana’s forests. These funds are to be used towards Guyana’s investments in its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) to help the country achieve its climate commitments. And framed within the Norway-Guyana partnership, the IDB approved in June 2022 the Guyana Utility Scale Solar Photovoltaic Program (GUYSOL), which will support the transition of the country towards 19% renewables on its grid in approximately 3 years.
The IDB supports Guyana to develop the energy sector through financing of renewable energy activities
The IDB has supported Guyana’s transition towards energy diversification through a series of operations investing in microgrids, rooftop solar panels in public buildings and smaller solar farms in the countryside. The experience has encouraged partners to continue working with Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL) to develop this transformational program.
GUYSOL, moves in an expedited way towards a greater level of renewables on the electricity grids, marking a technological transformation in the way electricity is produced in Guyana. GUYSOL invest in about 8 solar farms distributing 33 MWp with 34MWh of battery energy storage throughout 3 electrical systems in Guyana: The Demerara-Berbice Interconnected system, the Essequibo system, and the Linden system. The projects are expected to prevent 75.277 tons of CO2 emissions once commissioned and in operation. More recently, Guyana Power and Light (GPL) launched bidding for this work to begin with this transformational program
The program is expected to displace expensive and polluting fossil fuels for electricity generation like diesel and heavy fuel oil, while contributing to advance Guyana’s LCDS strategy towards building a cleaner and diversified electricity generation matrix. Importantly, the operation will also back a digital transformation of the utilities operation in the interior, moving them from manual analog procedures to digital, real-time, automated monitoring and control systems. Alongside these investments in infrastructure, the GUYSOL Program will encourage diversity and inclusion in the maintenance and management of renewable infrastructure, developing local skills and apprenticeships with a focus on opportunities for women.
Thanks to the forests as a nature-based asset paying dividends, at the end of the project, we will contribute to a unique transformation of Guyana’s electric landscape.