The entire country is railing over the recent spate of blackouts and while the government and the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) have cited damaged submarine cables as the cause, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo is adamant that the government’s incompetence is to be blamed.
On Wednesday, GPL announced that it has a shortfall of 12 megawatts of electricity due to the damaged submarine cables.
At his most recent press conference, Jagdeo said that that should be no excuse. He said that GPL should have had redundancy — another source of power — to rely on in the event of an emergency.
Jagdeo said that the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic government (PPP/C) was well on its way towards securing the much-needed alternative in the form of the Amaila Falls Hydro Project which was aborted by the APNU+AFC government.
He noted that instead of Amaila, the current government is looking to wind power which, in his view, is a terrible mistake.
Jagdeo said, “Buying wind power, even if it is feasible and it is not corrupt, even if it was a clean contract, wind power is not buying capacity, it is buying energy. What about the periods when the wind stops blowing? There are several periods during the course of the day and in the night. You still need the fossil fuel to step up at that time, because when the wind stops blowing, it goes down to zero, and so you have to then match that with the comparable capacity to pick up that. You cannot build or satisfy future demand on buying just energy, you have to also install capacity.”
Jagdeo then went on to blame Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson for the current state of affairs in Guyana regarding blackouts.
He said, “It is the Minister [David Patterson] who is responsible for all of this.”
He also said that the entire government is complicit because of its failure to appoint a Board of Directors over a year and a half now.
The former President questioned, “How can you have a corporation like that and not pay attention to that? How the issues of generation and all of that are dealt with? The Minister is totally inept. He is only looking for other things on the side, not looking for the main issues.”
While Jagdeo lauded the Amaila project as the solution, that project was one smeared in controversy. In was said that that the benefits of that project would not have outweighed the cost.