Guyana - Country Commercial Guide
Renewable Energy

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data

Last published date: 2021-10-14

Overview

Guyana’s energy generation is largely fossil fuel-based, coming from electricity plants that use heavy fuel oil.  The cost of electricity is $0.32 per KWH.  Power is not stable in many areas.  The high cost of electricity continues to affect operating performance for businesses and is a major challenge.  Renewable energy is viewed as a potential solution by the Ali Administration and they are working to reduce the cost of power and provide reliable electricity.  Guyana has significant potential for hydro-power, similar to its neighbor Suriname which has utilized this opportunity.  Investors seeking to invest in Guyana’s renewable energy sector should contact the Ministry of Tourism Industry and Commerce and for tax concessions contact the Guyana Office for Investment. s.  Additionally, the Guyana Energy Agency has completed feasibility studies and areas of potential for hydropower.  Incentives are available in the form of tax concessions.  The 2019 budget presented changes to the Wear and Tear Schedule of the Income Tax Act for capital investments in renewable and alternative energy, and further tax exemptions for hybrid or electric cars and electric motorcycles.  In the 2021 Budget, the GoG is indicated that $135 million in climate related funds from Norway, with a significant portion to be used for renewable energy investment.  Solar farms at Mahdia, Bartica, and Lethem are under construction, and two mini hydropower plants are being developed. 

The challenge for potential investors evaluating renewable energy in Guyana is the current energy legislation, which allows the state-owned company Guyana Power and Light Inc, to have a monopoly over power generation.  The absence of grid tie-in legislation to allow for the resale of power to the state-owned entity may affect feasibility studies unless a Public Private Partnership is brokered.  In the interim storage of energy remains an emerging opportunity in Guyana.

Subsector Best Prospects

Development of Microgrids for Outlying Regions

Industrialization of outlying regions is stymied by a lack of reliable electricity.  The population size in many outlying regions is not large, but these regions have the potential to become manufacturing hubs.  Guyana Power and Light (GPL), the state-owned electricity company, loses a significant portion of power through old transmission and distribution lines.  Microgrids can provide a low-cost clean energy reducing the grid congestion and peak loads.  The new administration has signaled the development of microgrids as a priority for hinterland villages.

Development of Hydropower

The new government signaled its intent to proceed with the Amaila Falls Hydro Project.  There exists potential for other projects as Guyana seeks to transition to renewable energy.   Additionally, the energy consumption of the country is likely to increase significantly as the administration seeks to diversify the country into manufacturing and other energy-intensive sectors.

Development of Wind and Solar Farms

Guyana has tax concessions and capital write-offs available for wind and solar farm investments.  Offshore wind is also an option, but regulatory hurdles are significant.  Wind and solar are areas which are covered under the Public Private Partnership Framework published by the Ministry of Finance.  Solar units are attractive for companies who wish to avoid unreliable electricity.  Two major banks have installed solar panels and have seen a reduction in their operating expenses attributed to use of solar power.

Energy Efficient Technologies

Guyana seeks to increase energy efficiency.  Various incentives such as accelerated capital depreciation tax incentives are offered by the government for deployment of technologies which reduce operational costs and increase profitability for many companies. 

Installation, extension and upgrading of distribution networks or provision of electricity

Guyana’s electricity transmission is substandard, with transmission and distribution losses of over 30 percent.  GPL continues to request government assistance to survive but has begun the process of rehabilitating existing infrastructure.  The GoG continues to seek avenues to upgrade distribution networks and increase power production.

Opportunities

In a bid for transition to cleaner energy the Government of Guyana is interested in Public Private Partnerships to finance a gas to shore project, hydropower plant and potentially, smart grids, solar farms and wind farms.

Guyana’s Energy Consumption

Electricity Consumption

2017

2018

2019

 Billion (KWH)

0.8

0.79

0.79

Electricity consumption consists of total electricity generated annually plus imports and minus exports, expressed in kilowatt-hours.

Resources    

  • Ministry of Finance
  • Guyana Energy Agency
  • Guyana Office for Investment
  • Guyana Power and Light
  • Guyana National Bureau of Standards
  • Ministry of Public Infrastructure