Harvard commits to supporting LCDS as Pres. Ali invites int’l community to partner with Guyana

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Immediately following President Dr Irfaan Ali’s keynote address to Harvard Business School’s Virtual Microeconomics of Competitiveness workshop on Monday, the institution pledged its support for Guyana’s ambitious developmental trajectory as outlined by the President.

During his address to the attendees, which included representatives from 120 institutions around the world, President Ali detailed government’s development plans. He spoke about government’s renewable energy plans, strategy for agro-processing, infrastructure goals and the housing programme.

President Ali also made an appeal to the Universities to partner with Guyana, particularly when it comes to the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). The President recalled the way in which Guyana was able to forge an international partnership with Norway on the LCDS.

“My government is keen to work with the international community. One of the areas is applied research and development, as part of the LCDS 2030, we establish an international center for biodiversity research. And this is linked to the improvement of our competitiveness, dealing also with human capital, research and development and innovation, as part of what we will offer.”

“To achieve this, we’re seeking partnership with universities and research organizations, to make this a cutting-edge center of excellence, with focus on ecosystem services, forests, biodiversity and watershed. At this point, I wish to extend to Harvard University and the network of universities in attendance today to work with us in this area of ecosystem service, as we implement LCDS 2030,” President Ali said during his address.

Meanwhile, Director for Harvard Business School’s (HBS) Project in Guyana Dr. Jorge Ramirez- Vallejo, committed the institution to supporting Guyana’s LCDS agenda. According to him, this will be done through the HBS.

“Thank you very much for sharing the potential of Guyana and what you and your team have done so far and also what you’re planning to do. This demonstrates a huge commitment to creating an inclusive, sustainable and prosperous Guyana,” Vallejo said.

“President Ali, we’re committed to supporting your work through GDI and the institute for the instructive and competitiveness of HBS. We’re also willing to collaborate in helping identify and exploring the opportunities to shape and advance projects within the LCDS agenda.”

The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government is positioning hydropower to serve as the most significant renewable contributor to Guyana’s clean energy transition. And hydropower forms an important component in the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030.

The strategy states that Guyana has 8.5 gigawatts of hydropower potential from 33 hydropower plants. From this lot, the 165 MW Amaila Falls Hydropower plant will be built, as it has been identified as the best option to begin Guyana’s energy transition.

Building on Amaila, the PPP/C Government will seek to build a second largescale plant. This will be identified by 2025, and will be purposed to provide more than double the capacity Amaila will provide.

Hydropower plant #2, LCDS 2030 states, should provide 370 megawatts of capacity by 2035, and another 150 MW by 2040. The Government sees hydro as uniquely positioned to provide a cheaper solution than any other technology, due to its long average lifespan of 100 years.

It is projected that 67 per cent of Guyana’s capacity will come from renewable sources by 2035.

The comprehensive diverse energy mix will provide cleaner energy at a globally competitive cost, reducing the cost of living and making Guyana a more attractive investment destination.

Natural gas will power Guyana’s economic revolution in the short to medium-term, through the gas-to-energy project, while investments into renewables will build traction. However, over the medium- to long-term, the Government’s vision is for hydropower and other renewable energy options – solar, wind and biomass to take over.

Last month, President Ali was invited by Harvard to speak to the microeconomic workshop on the government’s developmental plans for Guyana. Representatives from over 120 faculties in more than 65 countries, including the University of Guyana, attended the President’s keynote address.