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Authorities dismiss wind energy, biomass for hinterland electrification

Residents of Wowetta, Region Nine, were among some that received solar power equipment from government.

Studies, conducted over the last years to explore the possibility of wind energy and bio-mass technology to power homes in the hinterlands, have not been successful.
This is according to officials of the recently ended Unserved Areas Electrification Programme (UAEP).
The US$28.2M programme has seen a major governmental programme starting in 2004 to connect an estimated 22,000 on the coastlands with an estimated 1,750 homes powered in the hinterlands with solar. The latter would have covered an estimated 21 villages.
According to UAEP’s Principal Project Coordinator, Morsha Johnson, during the official closing ceremony on Friday at Umana Yana, the programme targeted the different options available to government for the hinterland.
“The aim of the hinterland component was to determine a set of technical, institutional, socio-economical guidelines, procedures and criteria to establish sustainable electricity schemes in remote areas where grid extension was not feasible,” the official told Prime Minister Sam Hinds and executives of the Guyana Power and Light Inc, who were among others Friday night at the ceremony.
The IDB-funded project, Guyana was looking to develop strategies for hinterland electrification using possibly wind, bio-mass and hydro as energy sources.
To achieve this, several demonstration exercises to test the feasibilities were done in a number of villages, the possibility of replication once they were successful. However, while anemometers and data loggers were installed in places like Orealla, Campbelltown, Jawalla and Yupukari, the information collected were not encouraging and the wind energy option was eventually shelved.
Regarding the possibilities of bio-mass as a source of electricity, while the equipment was not a problem, supplies of wood and other materials would have been a problem. It would have required, according to Johnson, about 200 pounds of wood waste daily for an eight-hour operation.

UAEP’s Project Coordinator, Morsha Johnson

The programme found that the development of a mini-hydro plant off the Chiung River, Region Eight, would be ideal to supply electricity to support farming and an educational complex at Kato.
According to the UAEP official, the mini hydro was determined feasible with plant capacity of 570 kilowatts. “It is pleasing to report that the development of this hydro facility is now being considered for funding by the EU under a collaborative effort by the Government of Guyana.”
Initially, four solar energy demonstration projects were originally planned to be implemented in Jurukubaru, Yarakita, Capoey and Muritaro. After much success, Johnson explained, the project was extended to areas now covering 21 communities.
On Friday, Johnson also revealed that originally, UAEP catered for the installation of two engines and a small grid system in Port Kaituma but growing demands in Mahdia, a main mining district, also saw an extension.
“Today, the installations in both communities are completed and preparations are ongoing for the connection of consumers to the grid.”
UAEP had also targeted mainly new housing schemes and squatting areas that were being regularised.



Category/ies:Guyana News.
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