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Renewable Energy in the Caribbean reality and Perspectives Grafton Beach Resort Tobago September 25-28, 2007 Renewable Energy in Guyana. Melvyn Sankies Senior Lecturer – University of Guyana. Renewable Energy Resources in Guyana.

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Renewable Energy in the Caribbeanreality and PerspectivesGrafton Beach ResortTobagoSeptember 25-28, 2007Renewable Energy in Guyana

Melvyn Sankies

Senior Lecturer – University of Guyana


Renewable Energy Resources in Guyana

  • The mapping of available energy resources has been completed and the results show that the country has an enormous potential for biomass (wood waste, bagasse and rice husk) and hydropower as well as for solar energy, Currently the biomass resources used by industry are exploited at very low efficiencies, often solely for the production of steam, rather than for, for instance, a combined heat and electricity production.

  • Poor maintenance and the absence of an organization providing service seem, more often than not, to prevent investment in new and additional boiler equipment in existing factories- in spite of favourable payback times and facilitation of product development, which would increase the export value of the produce. As pointed out later on in the


  • report, a 75% utilization of the annual production of bagasse/waste for power generation with electricity efficiency at 15% would amount to more electricity than the entire GEC output.

  • Hydropower sites are generally located in remote areas, far away from the public grid. Until now no successful large-scale attempts have been made to utilize this resource. The reason might be that the demand approach normally used for large scale projects seems to have been employed also in rural areas where, obviously, the demand for electricity is very much lower than in densely populated areas. Instead it might be more interesting to focus attention on the potential for local industrial or commercial activities and small communities, aiming at creating strong regional development by supporting the basis for economic growth adequate infrastructure, in this electricity supply.

  • Wind turbines are (due to low average wind speeds in Guyana) unlike to be used extensively in the future. Only the narrow coastal band offers feasible conditions for wind powered turbines (low-speed turbines), although it must be emphasized that wind-speed measurements in the area are scarce. This, however, does not change the general assessment that wind is a minor renewable energy resource for Guyana.

  • Figure 2(a): biomass resources in Guyana

  • Biomass resources currently cover approximately 50% of the country’s total energy consumption (Circa 1998).


Charcoal

  • In order to boost production, attempts were made in 1979 to introduce the kiln method of producing charcoal. It was estimated that, apart from the charcoal that could be produced from the different species of Guyana woods, the kilns could have also produced charcoal from coconut shells. With an annual production of 60 million coconuts, the potential for charcoal produced from coconut shells was estimated to be around 20,000 tones per year.

  • The University of Guyana and the national Science Research Council collaborated in the late 1970s to support the programme to introduce charcoal kilns. The two institutions jointly operated a charcoal unit tasked with studying charcoal production, uses and marketing. The charcoal unit also provided training in the use of the Mark V Kiln for the production of charcoal. However this programme was not successful because of the poor construction of the kilns and the insufficient attention paid to the training of the producers in the operation and maintenance of the kilns. Producers have therefore returned to the traditional open-pit method of charcoal production.

  • The Guyana Forestry Commission has reported that among the established producers of charcoal approximately 15% use the kiln method, 15% both the kiln and pit, and the rest the pit method only.

  • The continued use of charcoal will depend on the energy situation, if the government decides to pursue charcoal production as a means of earning foreign exchange however, then the impact on the environment of cutting down trees will have to be seriously considered. The production of charcoal will then have to be included in the agricultural and mining systems.

  • Shown in table 2 (a) below is the annual Guyanese charcoal production from 1985 to 1996.


Firewood

  • Shown in table 2(a) is the consumption of firewood in Guyana for the period 1985 to 1996. Prior to the late 1950s, firewood and charcoal were used extensively, and many middle income families relied on the Dover stove and the coal pot, while firesides made of clay were used by the lower-income bracket/groups. With the introduction of kerosene stoves in the 1950s, firesides and coal pots became almost extinct.


Wood Waste

  • Guyana has been estimated to have approximately 13 million hectares of forests that are exploitable with present technology. Wood and wood waste are therefore seen as sustainable sources of energy. A study was done in 1985 to indicate the economic attractiveness of using wood instead of imported petroleum in a power station in Guyana. However, the environmental drawbacks (e.g. deforestation, very long reestablishment times (e.g. Mangrove, which is an excellent fuel wood)) for excessive use wood for fuel purposes must be considered very carefully indeed. Various kinds of rapidly growing “energy” woods are interesting as options for increasing the fuel-wood output.


Wood Waste Continues

  • For the majority of sawmills, particularly those out of Georgetown that currently use diesel for powering their operations, wood waste is recognised as an important renewable energy source. Wood gasification technology is another reliable conversion to end product such as shaft power or electric power.

  • It is projected that most of the large timber companies in Guyana could use wood waste to meet their needs for electricity, with the surplus being sold to the GPL or to nearby communities. At present two private saw millers are producing approximately 1.5 MW of electricity. However, it was recently shown (1994) that for one timber producing area alone, Crab wood Creek on the Corentyne River, the average production of wood waste was estimated at 4.46 tons per hour. Over an operating scale of 5500 hours per year, this amount of wood waste could support the production of 2 MW of electrical power, with 1.5 MW being available for sale to the national grid.

  • As a rough assessment of the potential of wood waste as energy resource in the entire country is given in table 2(b). This table shows the forest output for Guyana, in terms of logs, for 1990 to 1995 and gross estimates of the fuel value of the sawmill wastes.


Biogas

  • Biogas technology is particularly appropriate for cooking, refrigeration and lighting in rural areas where most of the livestock fanners operate. Ithas been estimated that one cubic metre of biogas could provide enough energy to do one of the following:

  • cook three (3) meals for a family of four:

  • illuminate a mantle lamp of 60 watt equivalence for approximately 7 hours:

  • run a 3000-litre refrigerator for 3 hours:

  • generate 1.25 kWh of electricity.

  • A successful program to transfer biogas technology was run in Guyana between 1985 and 1991. Financial and technical assistance were provided by the UNU­OLADE program, the CDB, and the Chinese and Gennan Technical Assistance Programmes. IAST was the implementing agency and during this period more than 70 biogas digesters were built.


Biogas Continues

  • These ranged in size from 83 to 50 m3. The further dissemination of this technology was adversely affected by the following factors:

  • High cost of cement and other materials for the construction of the digester: and

  • Inadequate preventive maintenance practices by the farmers.

  • Recently two biogas digesters, with capacities of 8 m3 and 50 m3 respectively, were repaired by personnel from the Institute of Applied Science and Technology. The biogas from these digesters is used for cooking purposes by the Guyana National Service (GNS) at their Essequibo Coast location.


Hydropower

  • Inthe "Energy Policy of Guyana" (1994) it is suggested that development of hydropower resources is the key to the satisfaction of the country's long-term energy needs. Itis envisaged that the energy harnessed through the development of small, medium, and large hydropower schemes will be used for industrial development.

  • The hydropower potential of Guyana is estimated to be in the range of 6,500 to 7,000 MW, and is distributed over fifty (50) sites in the interior of Guyana. Of these the Mazaruni and Potaro rivers have the highest potential.

  • Inaddition to these sites for large-scale hydropower development, there are numerous potential sites for micro- and mini-hydropower development. These sites are located in many of the tributaries of the larger rivers.

  • It is envisaged that for instance rural village and small scale mining operations could benefit from the simplicity and mobility of turbine type very small-scale hydro-installations.


Solar energy

  • There are two main sources of solar irradiation data in Guyana. These are the Hydrometeorological Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Institute of Applied Science and technology (IAST), (up to Circa 1994).

  • From 1972 The Hydro meteorological Department has operated a small network of actinographs. In addition, Data on bright sunshine hours are recorded, with the first bright sunshine recorded being installed in 1916.


Solar Energy Continues

  • A preliminary analysis from 1982 by the Hydrometeorological Department suggested that the spatial variation of the daily bright sunshine hours in Guyana is significant. For instance, during the eight month long dry season the Rupununi region receives a daily average of around eight (8) hours of bright sunshine. At the other extreme, the bright sunshine availability in the Pakaraima Mountains averages only about four (4) hours per day.

  • The Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST) measured solar irradiation data, on the outskirts of Georgetown, from 1985 to 1988. The instruments used include Eppley PSP pyranometers for measuring the horizontal global and diffuse irradiances. Data were recorded on an hourly basis by an electronic data acquisition system.

  • Table 2 (g) shows a summary of this data and related parameters for 1986 and 1987. These data are currently being used to aid the design of large-scale solar thermal and photovoltaic power systems for use in the inland regions.


Solar Energy Continues

  • A theoretical estimate of the potential for electricity generation by photovoltaic appliance is presented in table 2 (h) below and will be elaborated in connection with the feasibility studies presented in the following chapters. The figures below doesn’t take into account system inefficiencies/inefficiencies due to ambient temperature. Typical single module contains around 30 PV cells and provides around 50Wp (Wp=Peak power output in Watts). Generally, for each Wp, a module will provide around 0.85 Whrs for each kWh/m2 irradiation per day).


Sugar Production


From the Guyana Energy Agency

  • A pre- feasibility study is at present being carried out into the viability of building a large 7 to 10 MW grid connected wind farm on the coast of Guyana just east of Georgetown. The aim of the wind farm will be to provide cheap electricity for the Guyanese national grid and broaden Guyana's energy mix. In countries with a favourable wind regime, wind energy can compete favourable with conventional energy production such as thermal plants. Other objectives of the project are to reduce Guyana dependence on costly imported fossil fuels, to utilise indigenous energy resources and to encourage the use of Environmentally friendly energy production methods.

  • This is consistent with the Government of Guyana's Energy Policy, which seeks to reduce the country's high dependence on imported fossil fuel such as diesel and oil for electricity production. Furthermore, the project will promote the Government's pro-environmental position relating to sustainable economic development, as well as climate change as a whole.


From the Guyana Energy AgencyContinues

  • The initiative for a feasibility study was taken after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Government of Guyana and a renowned Caribbean wind energy company DELTA Caribbean of Curacao to investigate the possibilities for wind generated electricity for Guyana.

  • In order to fund the study, DELTA approached the Netherlands Government to donate funds under one of its environmental assistance programmes. It also approached two of the most experienced consultant companies in wind energy to execute the study after the Dutch Government approval was given to fund the feasibility study.


From the Guyana Energy AgencyContinues

  • Recently, a delegation from the Netherlands arrived in Guyana consisting of Tony van Engelen of Planet and Henk Hutting of KEMA two independent Dutch consulting companies specialised in wind energy projects worldwide, to access the project and to report on it's viability to the Governments of The Netherlands and Guyana.

  • Accompanying the mission from Holland were Roy Kolader of DELTA Caribbean and John Whittingham a Guyanese wind energy expert presently residing in Barbados.Whittingham had previously done a wind resource study of the coast of Guyana, which forms the basis for this project.


From the Guyana Energy AgencyContinues

  • The present mission is examining the generic feasibility of erecting 8 to 12 wind turbines with a combine power outage of approximately 7 to 10 MWTypically the turbines will consist of towers with a height of approximately 45 metres (147.6 feet) blade diameters of about 50 meters (1 (94 feet).

  • The total expected investment will amount to some G$1,900M of which it is thought that about G$700M will be spent on local services. Besides providing the Guyanese with electricity, the wind farm would further generate G$20M per annum for the local economy in the form of jobs and small contracts.

  • The wind farm would reduce the import of approximately 4000 metric tonnes of diesel (approximate value of US$940000(per annum) and would about 16,500 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere.


From the Guyana Energy AgencyContinues

  • The mission members are meeting all the important stakeholders that are needed to make the project a success. Meetings have been held with the Prime Minister, the Guyana Energy Agency, Guyana Power and Light, the Guyana Office for Investment, the Environmental Protection Agency, among others agencies.

  • Mission members have indicated that they are impressed with the positive, proactive supportive and motivated attitude of the Guyanese Government and Authorities who were able to be businesslike and professional in their approach.

  • If the generic feasibility study has a positive outcome, the consultants Van Engelen, Hutting, and Whittingham will be returning to Guyana before year-end to complete a final and detailed feasibility study for the project.


References

  • Studies of New and Renewable Energies In Guyana – 9th February 1999

  • Inter-American Development Bank

  • Local Consultants (Contracted by IADB) University of Guyana

  • Contact Person – Mr. Melvyn Sankies

  • Contractor – Dansk Energi Management A/S


AddendumThe Rice Industry in Guyana: The Demands of Globalisation

  • By Melvyn Sankies,

  • Senior lecture, University of Guyana and

  • President of the Guyana Association of Profession Engineers

  • Presented at the SRC Conference Jamaica - 2004


Abstract

  • While the rice industry in Guyana has long been pillar in economic development, the demands of the 21 century –ultra technology and perception of globalism – precipitate the need for serve structure and managerial adjustments for its survival on the worlds market.

  • Funding for the industry from the EU requires the conditionality of payment system for the provision of infrastructural facilities including drainage and irrigation. In addition, successful competition against the South East Asian market demands a reduction in the coat of production, ranging from the upgrading of outdated and inefficient equipment to replacement of ‘family concern’ management by public enterprise approach; embodying the incorporation of small farms into large holdings; utilization of the discarded rice husk as fuel, as organic fertilizer or as aggregate for concrete (research undertaken by Muniram Budhu now Ph.D). Quality control is affected by the Guyana National Bureau of standards in presenting a product acceptable to the Caribbean and European market .But at the same time consideration may be given to the development of an organic product, as well as advantage and disadvantage of a genetically modified product in both short and long term. These are the main concerns of this paper.


Introduction

  • The EU-EDF feasibility study of the CARIFORUM rice industry countries stated that “Global rice production is projected to rise as less than 1 percent per year in the current decades, down from 1.7 percent in the 1990s.’’ As the world production of agricultural products is expected to expand and be in demand world wide particularly in developing countries, it is anticipated that the rice industry in Guyana will have a significant role to play provided it can maintain a competitive edge on the international scene


Source: World Grain Situation and Outlook, Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA.

  • Of significance to rice production is the fact the energy derived in the industry is mainly by fossil fuel whilst rice miller face husk disposal problems. The energy needs of the industry can be met by co-generation plants to cover the energy requirements of the miller and where possible sell excess power to the national grid. The residue from the co-generation plants not only has organic use, but can be used as such, in Guyana the energy needs of the society mainly by fossil fuel and alternative resources needs to be accessed and developed.


Production over the 12 years period

  • The rice industry experienced a decline during the eighties but recovered in the nineties (see Table 11 below). However, the availability of rice as an energy source is indicated and is estimated as 20 percent of paddy production. A recent study by the IADB estimated that ‘’the rice industry accounted for 11 percent of GDP, which increases to 13 percent when rice milling is included. At the period of the study of the study there were an estimated seventy-five millers in operation.’’ Today this number has declined to sixty-nine (69).Of these only two rice farmers, used rice husks as fuel. Those two have since gone into bankruptcy.


Production over the 12 years period Continues

  • It must be noted that energy for rice industry is provided by the national power utility and standby generating sets. But the rice growing areas offers opportunities for production of fuel briquettes from rice straw and rice husk as fuel energy for producing electricity and drying of paddy. The calorific values for briquettes and carbonized briquettes are 3635 and 4011 k/cal/ kg respectively. Investment in co-generation from rice husk can result in:

  • Saving in electricity cost (fuel)or for gensets

  • Saving in gas –oil cost for paddy drying

  • Saving in disposing of rice husks

  • Rice husk ash sales

  • Reduced emission of greenhouse gasses from fossil fuel


Present Production and World Trend

  • As a result of several adverse domestic and international conditional affecting production and marketing of rice in Guyana, the trends indicated above have been on the decline .If these conditions continue they will have serious implications for any long term plans for rice husk to be part of new and renewable energy in Guyana is clearly in parlous financial state. Its future prosperity – and perhaps even its survival in anything like its present form – is certainly assumed , threatened as it is by changes in the world prices, erosion of preferential access and other current and prospective international marketing constraints.’’ As a result the EDF/EU Consultants identified the following major areas for investment as well as the need for improved human resource qualification and introduction of quality of management standards. The areas are:

  • Drainage and Irrigation rehabilitation

  • Port Improvement /Bulk Facilities

  • Regional Wharf/Transport Upgrading

  • On-Farm Handling, Drying and Storage

  • Seed Production and Distribution

  • If the proposals are taken on board then there is much hope in a future for the industry.


CONCLUSION

  • The main producers of rice Caricom are Guyana Suriname. The amount of rice produced and exported (0.3 million tones) is a small fraction (EU/EDF study) of the global rice trade (approx. 23 million tones). The IADB study (1991) referred to before did show that at that time 50% of Guyana‘s energy on the Coast could be provided by new and Renewable Energy Source. However, provided Guyana meets the requirement as outlined in the EU/EDF study then the plan for rice husk as part of the new and renewable energy action plan will be jeopardy. One other factor not taken into account in this presentation is the possibility of genetically modified rice coming on stream in the not too distant future. Should this become a reality presently, then a revision of current thinking for the Caribbean will have to be urgently reassessed and addressed.


A Picture Of Guyana


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