Guyana Sets Energy Efficiency Lead

GUYANA is shaping up to set a gold standard for the Caribbean in implementing a national energy efficiency strategy to curb greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.

"Energy efficiency is the main method of fighting climate change and its impact is global since unclean energy is the main contributor," the associate director of the Energy Resource Institute (TERI) of India, Dr. Rudra Narsimha Rao, told IPS.

"While inefficiencies in the energy sector are a global challenge, Guyana's efforts can better position it to battle the devastating impacts of climate change," added Rao, whose group is helping the country to reduce energy costs in its sugar and rice sectors.

TERI is collaborating with the government under the framework of its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) to carry out an energy audit of the industrial agricultural sector. Findings and recommendations were handed over to key stakeholders on Mar. 24.

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) researchers estimate that the region could reduce its energy consumption by 10% over the next decade and save tens of billions of dollars by adopting existing technologies to increase efficiency.

IDB-financed projects have proven that the return on investment for efficient lighting and electric motor programmes, for example, is higher than building new energy capacity.

Now, the Bank is helping specific sectors to reduce operating costs through investments in more efficient technology. It is financing programmes that will boost the electricity output and prolong the life of existing hydroelectric complexes by upgrading their turbines.

Rao warned that ignoring the potential of energy efficiency will result in greater risks, in particular for developing countries.

"No responsible country should ignore this issue since energy efficiency adds to the development trajectory of Guyana's LCDS," Agriculture Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy told IPS.

Picture of George Town, Guyana by Johnldasilva (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Thursday 3rd April 2014

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