Volatile Oil Prices Are Fueling Guyana Renewable Energy Boom

National Economy

The population of the Co‑Operative Republic Of Guyana is approximately 800,000 people[1]. In 2020, 92.5 % of the people in this South American country had access to electricity[2].

In 2021, Guyana’s economy was ranked 156th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[3]. The country’s economy[4] is dependent on the export of crude oil, gold, rice, railway cargo containers, and packaged medicaments,

Environmental Policies

In 2008, Guyana implemented the Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030, which was designed to provide solar plus battery storage facilities in rural areas without electricity.

In 2016, Guyana signed the Paris Climate Agreement[5], committing to reduce CO2 emissions up to 52 million tons by 2025.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, utilities[6] used oil (87.0 %) and renewable energy (13.0 %) and to generate electricity in Guyana. Biomass and solar are the dominant types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Guyana.

Recent renewable energy developments in Guyana include:

  • 33 MW Solar + 34 MWh Energy Storage – In January 2023, the government of Guyana and the Inter-American Development Bank launched a solar plus energy storage tender. The tender is one component in the Guyana Utility Scale Solar Photovoltaic Program.
  • 15 MW Solar + 22 MWh Energy Storage – The government of Guyana is moving forward with plans to build a solar plus energy storage project at a site approximately 50 miles south of the nation’s capital, Georgetown.
  • 10 MW Solar Project – The government of Guyana is moving forward with plans to build a solar project at a site in the western region of the country.
  • 8 MW Solar + 12 MWh Energy Storage – The government of Guyana is moving forward with plans to build a solar plus energy storage project at a site in the southern region of the country.
  • 5 MW Solar Project – In May 2022, Trinidadian company Farfan & Mendes commissioned a solar project at a site approximately 40 miles southwest of Georgetown.

Conclusions

In 2015, ExxonMobil made the first major oil discovery in Guyana. In 2021, Guyana produced[7] 42.7 million barrels of crude oil.

In 2020, natural gas exports generated U.S. $1.17 Billion in revenue for the country[8]. In 2021, Guyana was the 27th largest crude oil exporting country[9] in the world.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting in the United States, Canada, and the European Union to place embargos on Russian exports, including fossil fuels. As a result, the price for natural gas increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

Guyana has vast undeveloped renewable energy resources, including solar, hydropower, offshore wind, onshore wind, and biomass.

Volatile crude oil prices are fueling Guyana’s boom in renewable energy projects.

 

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 

 

Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.

 

[1] Guyana Population (2023) –  January 14, 2023, www.worldometers.info

[2] The World Bank Group, Access to Electricity (% of Population) – Guyana

[3] Gross Domestic Product By Country 2022 – Worldometer

[4] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Guyana

[5] Carbon Brief – “2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[6] Our World In Data, Guyana:  Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

[7] Guyana Department of Public Information, February 1, 2022

[8] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Guyana Exports

[9] Crude Oil Exports By Country 2021 by Daniel Workman

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