Guyana has received $40 million for climate services and intends to use part of the money for a transformational hydroelectric project in order to reduce the cost of electricity.
The receipt of the funds was announced by The Office of the President of Guyana on the morning of 8th May. The payment was made by the Government of Norway and represents earnings from the Guyana-Norway partnership which in total now amount s to $190 million out of a potential $250 million. It is one of the highest payments worldwide for results achieved under a bilateral REDD partnership, second only to Brazil.
The partnership between Guyana and Norway began in 2009 and payments made to Guyana under it support the country’s ambitious climate action, keeping deforestation low while promoting development and sustainable economic growth through the country’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). Guyana is already using the funds for a variety of projects, one of which is the hydroelectricity project at Amaila Falls. This is widely anticipated to meet almost all of the country’s domestic energy needs, removing dependency on fossil fuels and reducing the cost of electricity to customers.
“Guyana is committed not only to maintaining low deforestation rates but also to building capacity to effectively manage its resources” said President Donald Ramotar. “We have worked to ensure that everyone has a say in how we manage these resources, and that everyone benefits from the unique development path we set out on six years ago.”
Ramotar added that the country is seeking to demonstrate that a low carbon path to development has environmental benefits for the global community and can be in the best economic interests of its people. The funds will help Guyana to change the way it approaches development locally while combatting climate change globally.
The Amaila Falls Project is the flagship of the LCDS. It is expected to supply at least 90 percent of the country’s domestic electricity demand while also lowering the cost of electricity by between 10 percent and 20 percent. This will also reduce the number of blackouts in the country and Guyana’s vulnerability to oil price shocks. The government is also expecting to lower Guyana’s energy-related emissions by 90 percent and its dependency on fossil fuels by 35 percent.
Guyana and Norway are now discussing the possibility of a renewed partnership for the period from 2015-2020.