The 1966-born lyrics of Guyana’s National Anthem were brought to the fore this morning by Prime Minister, Brigadier (Retired) Mark Phillips when he spoke at the opening ceremony of the International Solar Alliance’s (ISA) Fourth Regional Committee Meeting for the Latin America and Caribbean Region.
“We are made rich by the sunshine,” said Phillips as he posited that with technical and financial support for the development and execution of solar technology projects, Guyana will be able to contribute to universal energy access, address energy security needs, and advance climate change mitigation efforts.
PM Phillips said Guyana is well aware of the value of solar energy which is primarily considered the fastest-growing renewable energy source, particularly for its capacity in large-scale power generation. He said that this value creates an urgent call for the acceleration of the use of solar energy for daily needs.
The Prime Minister said it is for that very reason platforms such as the one provided are welcomed. He went on to note that such platforms foster a convergence of policymakers and big thinkers who, together, will develop innovative solutions through knowledge and creativity- both of which can be considered key drivers of economic growth.
Speaking about economic growth, Phillips, who holds primary responsibility for energy in Guyana, used the opportunity to highlight his country’s overarching plan for development within the decade.
Phillips noted that under the Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030, Guyana will undertake an approach of decoupling economic growth from fossil fuel use in power generation by developing renewable and clean energy resources to meet the increasing electricity demand and maintain low greenhouse gas emissions.
The Prime Minister noted that projects are underway to improve energy access through investments in solar PV systems for off-grid areas, the expansion of the Hinterland Electrification Programme, the replacement and upgrade of previously installed solar PV systems in the Hinterland, and the development of micro-grids for large hinterland areas.
PM Phillips said that the existence of the ISA is testimony to just how vital strategic alliances are in the increased deployment of solar energy technologies – as outlined in the ISA’s mandate- towards the continued goal of sustainability.
He added that such partnerships have a direct nexus with the implementation of multilateral commitments and agreements that will drive Guyana toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of “access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”.
PM Phillips said too that ISA has been, and will continue to be, impactful in the Region because it is action-oriented, member-driven, and collaborative.
He committed that Guyana is ready to engage and work with its fellow members as well as the ISA Secretariat to realize the organization’s goals of increasing the deployment of solar energy technologies while contributing to universal energy access, promoting energy security, and supporting low-carbon energy transitions.