GUYANA’S Hinterland Electrification Programme has been given a boost recently, after the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) announced the funding of renewable energy projects in Guyana to the tune of US$8M.
The agency announced on Saturday, January 12, 2019, that the funding will be ‘plugged’ into the installation of 5.2 megawatt (MW) grid-connected solar PV systems in the hinterland regions of Guyana, with the aim of reducing fossil fuel consumption and increase the reliability of electricity supply. “An estimated 34,700 people in the target areas will benefit and around 120 direct and indirect jobs are set to be created throughout the project lifecycle,” the agency said.
With ADFD committing US$350 million over seven funding cycles to the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility since 2013, Saturday’s announcement, which was made during the Ninth Session of the IRENA Assembly in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) , brings cumulative funding, to date, to US$245 million.
The agency said the facility helps developing countries access low-cost capital for renewable energy projects to increase energy access, improve livelihoods and advance sustainable development.
“The projects selected this year will contribute towards meeting national energy access targets and will transform lives for the better,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin.
“They will take advantage of cost-effective renewable energy to help reduce poverty, enable income-generating activities, and provide electricity to healthcare facilities and educational institutions, which will create jobs, empower women, and strengthen local communities,” he added.
His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: “We are proud of our result-oriented facility that has supported replicable, scalable and potentially transformative renewable energy projects set to benefit communities and improve their living conditions. Today, at the Ninth Session of the IRENA Assembly, we are pleased to have selected truly impactful projects valued at US$31 million for the sixth cycle of financing awarded by the facility. Taking into account this cycle’s recipients, our cumulative expenditure, to date, is US$245 million, and we look forward to allocating the remaining US$105 million to awardees of the seventh cycle.”
As regards the project funding here in Guyana, the agency said that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure anticipates that the project will see 120 indirect jobs being created throughout the project lifecycle.
During her presentation on the 2019 national budget in the National Assembly last December, Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson, stated that a sum of $159M will be expended this year on the Hinterland Electrification Programme.
She said that the monies will go towards projects in Lethem, a one-megawatt solar farm as well as hydropower projects in the central Rupununi.