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Guyana considers using waste to generate electricity

The Guyana government favours the use of locally generated waste to generate methane gas and the construction of solar energy farms near fossil fuel plants, as part of an alternative energy strategy, according to Presidential Advisor on the Environment, Retired Rear Admiral Gary Best.

We have the technology now where we could use almost all the waste that we have in Guyana to produce energy so we should consider also waste-to-energy systems, waste-to-energy projects“, he told a European Union (EU)-sponsored panel discussion on the topic “What can be done to address Climate Change.”

Best later told Demerara Waves Online News that Guyana could import waste generated by other countries to generate energy only after mastering the process locally and implementing the necessary safeguards. “Guyana should set up a national waste-to-energy process and once we manage it nationally- it’s productive, it’s prosperous, it’s generating jobs and all the safeguards in there- then perhaps we can look at importing waste,”  he said.

About 30 years ago, local environmentalists had pressured the then Guyana government to block the importation of waste from other countries for disposal purposes.

Touting garbage as a “business” that can import waste, manage it effectively, build the waste-to-energy plants, create employment and generate energy, Best said the gold mining township could import garbage from the rest of Guyana and eventually provide electricity for the rest of the community.

Best said grass in canals could be fed into a bio-fuel plant. “We should stop looking at the environment as having bush. Everything has a value; we need to look at it, study it and understand the value that we have from it,” he said.

The Presidential Advisor said Guyana could reduce its fossil fuel bill by 40 to 45 percent by constructing solar energy facilities near fossil fuelled plants. “These are practical measures that Guyana could implement so I think one of the ways to go is to look towards alternative energy, look towards energy efficiency in the context of Guyana, build small using photovoltaic plants and ramp it up to the extent that we move into micro hydros, major hydros, wind and other forms of alternative energy,” he said.

Best suggested that the best route to alternative energy is solar power, although the unpredictable price of oil is currently low.