Guyana is a country of 83,000 square miles is endowed with an abundance of renewable energy resources (water, forestry, wind, solar) and non-renewable (oil, gas, minerals). With an estimated population of less than a million people, it can safely be said that Guyana is possibly one of the “richest” countries on earth. Guyana is home to part of a global resource in the tropical rain forest, significant from an environmental perspective. The word Guyana means land of many waters from one of the many indigenous languages spoken there, the country has substantial bauxite, manganese reserves, industrial diamonds, and gold, some say that the legend of El Dorado is in Guyana.
Guyana now finds itself literally and figuratively at a “crossroad” where the country ‘s newfound wealth in fossil fuels intersects with a move to renewable energy sources as the means to development. Although Guyana has several different options, many for renewable energy, wind, hydro, and solar, to name a few, however, it is solar that seems to make the most social entrepreneurial transitional impact at this time. The national power company is a quasi-governmental company that currently operates and manages the national electrical grid that delivers energy via diesel operated turbines. The situation that power company faces is that, although relatively small, the demand for energy in Guyana continues to grow exponentially daily, and there is no adequate way to measure or project the local market. The power company has to determine whether to invest in old technology with larger diesel turbines to generate more megawatts or should there be a parallel development of a grid to facilitate the receipt and delivery of solar energy.
As a Market Intermediary, GSE is working with our solar energy equipment supplier partners on preparing Guyana for the transition to renewals with our off-grid Social Solar Community Entrepreneurs program and the community based on-grid solar community-based Cooperatives for the installation of solar panel farms in villages and towns across Guyana. Although the typical off-grid solar energy solutions are primarily geared to remote, off-grid locations. The GSE off-grid model will be position as a temporary backup in the case of “blackout”, and an alternative to the more expensive, and carbon-producing fuel-driven generators. GSE via our platform will provide the necessary training for selected community solar entrepreneurs that sell small lamps and even larger systems that can charge cell phones or run a television. GSE envisions that it is from this core of community solar entrepreneurs that will be the backbone in the formation of cooperative solar farms. A Cooperative social enterprise business model is ideal for a solar community project or as it is sometimes referred to as solar gardens. Working in close collaboration with our solar panels manufacturers and suppliers, GSE will develop training programs and ultimately related jobs or construction workers to build the solar plants, electricians, plumbers, and solar photovoltaic installers. Naturally, these community based solar gardens will need daily maintenance to keep the photovoltaic screens free from dust and other environmental obstacles. Our external liquid polymer partners have the right customized solution for keeping our panels free from dust.
Guyana, as an emerging economy, is at a significant crossroad with a convergence of substantial oil and gas discoveries offshore, environmental preservation as related to climate change (preserving The Tropical Rain Forest), a major motivation for the development of The Green Economy. The adaptation of a Green Economy requires significant investment in infrastructure and human capital; therefore, it is GSE’s goal to create the foundation for local content for the creation of employment in the critically needed areas for development. It is almost no accident that the popularity of the social enterprise of which GSE represents is coming at a time when a Green Economy and Local Content linkage as a tool for development.
Guyana Social Enterprise (GSE) represents Collective ownership of ALL Guyanese. The time is perfect for the people of Guyana as a whole because before the revenues from hydrocarbons start. A clear path must be identified in the application to the building of new infrastructure to facilitate the development of the Green Society. Having the knowledge and implementation of Local Content in other emerging countries, Guyana has an excellent opportunity to learn fro those best practices and areas that can be improved. We contend that the application of technology in the form of a cloud-based solution is ideal for a holistic and cohesive development model. On the GSE platform, we are sending out a call to all Guyanese and like-minded social enterprises from around the globe to join in creating the model for sustainable development.
In this new era of development models for the emerging countries of the world, Guyana can become an ideal model in the application of energy to a nation with the resources to “leapfrog” the previously defined model of development. Power is the critical component in human development, from the agricultural revolution to the industrial revolution; it has been the energy that has the most significant impact in both positive and negative ways. Almost fifty-five years after independence from the British, Guyana has the natural, material, human, and technological resources to develop a Socially Cohesive Enterprising Society (SCES). The Guyana Social Enterprise (GSE) provides the PLATFORM for ALL citizens and noncitizens to participate in Guyana’s development, where ENERGY remains a key driving force.
Guyana is the Epicenter for Social Entrepreneurial Development, and we call on the socially conscious professionals worldwide to join GSE as Partner in the building of A Model State for Social Development.
The Energy sector represents an almost idealistic modeling opportunity of convergence and transition on the implementation of one based renewables and away from fossil fuel. The irony that Guyana will emerge as a significant crude oil-producing state amid a shift renewables development is an interesting study for “parallel transition.”
The Guyana Social Enterprise (GSE) business model is one of partnering and collaboration. Some of our partner’s solutions allow GSE to create community-based “solar entrepreneurs” by reselling off-grid solar solutions to many of their friends and family. We are also partnering with on-grid solar infrastructure providers. However, the field of ENERGY is vast and incompassing that touches almost every sector of the society, so the need for partners that affect every area of LOCAL CONTENT development is related to the energy sector. For example, one of the GSE partners provides additives that can be used in upstream oil production applications as well as stimulants, drilling fluids, corrosion inhibitors, scale inhibitors, and viscosity modifiers. The solution is even used as components of cement used in protecting casting downhole.
Solar is possibly the most cost-effective and distributive renewable energy solution…available for countries with limited physical infrastructure. The fact that solar can be both on-grid or off-grid, makes it a viable renewable energy solution for the coastal and interior parts of Guyana.
The real recyclable benefit of solar energy is the interconnectivity into the electrical grid The Guyana Power and Light (GPL) is the power company that is solely owned by the government of Guyana, GPL is the sole entity that is responsible for the power connection to the national grid. However, the interconnectivity into the national electrical grid should not impede the establishment of community-based solar farms. Depending on the size and architecture of the some the buildings in the community, some homes or buildings will have the solar panels directly installed on the rooftop so the structure, while others with a rowhouse infrastructure would be collectively be connected to a solar farm of between 100 to 200 panels with the average demand per household being between 5 and 10 panels.
The name Guyana is a word taken from one of the country’s many indigenous groups to mean “Land of Many Waters”.…It can be contended that water, Guyana’s internal rivers, streams, and falls, is certainly one if not the country’s most significant source potential for renewable energy. Therefore, from a topological geological perspective, Guyana can strategically apply the three main methods of hydro-power planting, namely impoundment (dam), diversion, and pumped storage to reduce significant environmental impact.
The concentration of Guyana’s rivers, streams and falls are in the interior parts of the country where approximately 10 percent of the population reside, which means that there is a tremendous opportunity for growth in population and industry in those regions. The goal of GSE is to work with hydroelectricity design engineers and developers that are socially and environmentally conscious. With an abundance of options available to Guyana, there is no need for a dam in certain areas that will have a significant impact on the ecological system.
Biomass for energy is as old as history itself; humans have used biomass, energy from living things to make wood
fires for cooking or keeping warm. Today, biomass is being used to fuel electric generators and other machinery.
Although solar, wind, and hydro, to a lesser degree, represent a new and emerging energy source for Guyana, biomass always represented an economical source of energy for the agricultural-based society. As a major sugar producer among Caribbean nations for over a century, the bag-ass, the byproduct after the cane juice has been extracted, always represented a good source of biomass. Additionally, the waste, such as sawdust, wood shavings, and the bark from the lumber and logging sector, are also sources of biomass.
The sugar industry has always been the largest employer in Guyana. While many sugar-producing nations worldwide have transitioned to a mechanized process of harvesting of the sugar cane, Guyana retains of between 20,000 to 25,000 harvesters. As a result, the cost of producing sugar is one of the highest in the world. The sugar industry is owned and operated by the Government of Guyana through Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), is finding that the economic losses being unsustainable, resulting in significant downscaling or right-sizing of the industry with the closure of several of the estates and a loss of jobs. However, as Guyana’s premier social enterprise organization, GSE will be advocating for the formation of cooperatives of the displaced cane harvesters at the closed sugar estates or even those that are pending closure.
Although the primary production value of the sugar cane is the glandular sugar, most of the byproducts, like the molasses for rum production, filter mud used for fertilizers or wax creation, to the bagasse as the most crucial element in biomass energy production.
With the adaption of biomass energy production at many of the sugar estates, GSE envisions the creation of Social Enterprising Zones (ESZs) where the reduced cost of energy can fuel the creation of several businesses.
GSE is collaborating with our partners on several fronts on Local Content development projects that bear a direct and indirect social and environmental impact on the Guyanese society.