Guyana leapfrogs into solar energy future with Norwegian forest payments

Guyana’s largest ever solar power projects will be financed thanks to the country’s low deforestation levels, following a landmark forest partnership between Guyana and Norway.

Guyana
Guyana has successfully kept its forest cover of 85% and with only 0,05% deforestation. Now, the country’s largest ever solar power projects will be financed thanks to the country’s low deforestation levels. Credit: NICFI

Guyana will use funds received for its low deforestation rates to finance eight large-scale solar energy projects. In total, the projects will provide 27,000 households with cheap, clean energy – benefiting approximately 70,000 people.

For years, the South American country has been one of the world’s leading countries on rainforest protection. While tropical deforestation rates remain high in some countries, Guyana – whose forest is about the size of England and Scotland combined - has successfully kept its forest cover of 85% and with only 0,05% deforestation.

- I am impressed by Guyana’s continued leadership to protect the country’s vital rainforests, and welcome their decision to use some of the of payments for maintaining a low deforestation to scale up solar energy generation, says Espen Barth Eide, Norway’s Minister of Climate and the Environment.

Since 2009, Guyana has received a total of NOK 1.5 billion (about USD220 million) as results-based payments from Norway. These funds have been invested in the country’s low carbon development, financing renewable energy, flood protection, green job creation, as well as land titling and development funds for indigenous peoples.

- In 2009, Guyana launched one of the world’s first low carbon development strategies. We set out to show that it is possible to maintain forests while also creating prosperity and opportunities for our people to thrive. Norway has been a steadfast partner in our work to find international solutions that support this objective. The world needs far more collaborations like ours – so I hope that today’s announcement will motivate others to recognize that progress is possible, says Prime Minister of Guyana, Honourable Mark Phillips, MP.

Solar power project in Guana
A total of eight photovoltaic solar projects will be distributed across three areas in Guyana, benefitting about 70.000 people. Credit: Department of Public Information, Government of Guyana.