Nations around the globe are transitioning to clean renewable (green) energy (hardly any pollutants) to reduce green-house effect that causes climate change (global warming) that threatens Guyana’s coast and survival. Hydrocarbons (oil and gas), coal, and wood used in the production of electricity will not be completely eliminated. Thus, Guyana must continue to produce oil, and at any rate the amount of oil Guyana produces is relatively insignificant in the global market but significant for revenues to fuel Guyana’s development. Vice President Jagdeo is right in noting that Guyana has a narrow window to exploit production of its oil and gas (20 to 30 years) and should take advantage of it. But the country should take measures to mitigate against green-house effect even though Guyana’s hydrocarbon pollutants are hardly measurable.
While developing the oil sector and increasing production of oil for revenues to grow the economy, Guyana must transition towards a green economy (less use of hydrocarbons). Guyana has an abundance of natural habitat (wind, solar) and resources (swift moving water and waterfalls) for green energy (sustainable electricity generation without harmful effects to the environment) to power industries and development of the country; New Zealand makes maximum use of its habitat to produce energy and educe dependence on hydro-carbon imports. On the latter note, Vice President Jagdeo is commended for pursuing hydro-electric dam (Amelia) and gas to shore project to generate electricity (gas produces less pollution than diesel with less effect on global warming) and for supporting solar and wind generation of power.
The globe desperately needs a movement away from hydrocarbons (and burning wood and coal) to generate energy because of the lasting effect on climate. Renewable energy substitutes are available but it will take a cultural transformation to get nations and people to turn to solar and wind and other non-hydrocarbon generated energy. Non-hydrocarbon generated power are also very costly compared with oil and gas or coal and wood. But with improved technology for green energy generation, cost will come down making it affordable for even poorer countries like Guyana.
As more and more countries are turning to green energy to reduce use of hydrocarbon whose pollution has devastating effects on climate change, Guyana should learn from them and seek their technology. India, USA, Canada, and several European countries have been pioneering green technologies to move towards non-fossil fuels. Indian technology may be less expensive than that of other countries and more suitable for Guyana than others. India also has several hydro-electric dams. India is gradually perfecting green technology. More and more companies that are green technology related are moving to India to produce equipment for solar and wind generation and production of batteries for storage of energy. India can deliver green technology Guyana needs. There is great scope for green collaboration between Guyana with India. Thus, Guyana should hitch wagon to India’s on green technology (solar, wind, hydro). Such an alliance will boost green growth in Guyana that may expand throughout the region.
Guyana has obtained a lot of funding from Norway to protect the rainforests. The money should be invested into generating green energy. Guyana’s oil will not last forever. Government should seek to make Guyana a self-sustainable producer of green energy. The country must not rely on it for energy or to power development. Alternatives must be pursued. Towards this end, people should be encouraged to mount solar panels and wind wheels to generate their energy. Government should offer grants from the Norway fund to help people make a transition from the power grid to developing their own current. Surplus energy that is generated could be sold to the national grid. Technology exists to use electricity from power grids and to inject surplus electricity into the grid. In the US, homeowners and farmers are encouraged to generate clean green energy, the surplus of which, is sold to the electric company. Several Guyanese in Florida, Minnesota, Upstate New York, among places are earning revenues or having zero electricity bills from solar production of power. Some related that their electric bills are almost zero or the company owes them revenues which are kept as a credit for future use. Generating green electricity at home or on the farm becomes a kind of a business (generating an income) while also making them conscious of protecting the environment from further pollutants that causes global warming. It can also be done in Guyana with education. People must be educated that burning clean energy also reduces effects on health. Government must make every effort to convince the public to use less power from the national grid and to generate their own electricity. Off course, government must provide incentives (like a subsidy).
The Vice President some years ago won the award as a champion of the earth for his LCDS initiative and advocacy of protecting the environment from green-house effects. He should lead the effort in Guyana; he is enormously popular. The public will heed his call to transition to green energy.