TERI helps local businesses cut energy costs significantly

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By: Devina Samaroo

For over five years, local businesses in the Private and Public sectors, as well as households, have been cutting their energy consumption significantly with help from The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

As an international institute, based in India and working globally, TERI has spent the last 40 years working on issues regarding energy, environment, and sustainable development.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, met with a team from The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), including Director General of TERI, Dr Ajay Mathur (right) TERI’s Director, Dr Rudra Narishma Rao (inner right), and Shyam Nokta, TERI’s Chief Representative for the Caribbean (left)

With a green revolution sweeping this developing nation, TERI, through an MoU with both the Government and the Private Sector Commission (PSC), has been working with local entities to reduce energy costs and implement innovative efficient management practices with the overall aim to ensure that Guyana contributes greater to the global fight against climate change.

Work in Guyana

One of the most notable projects of the organisation is the development of the rice husk gasifier mill in Essequibo, which has managed to cut energy costs and consumption by nearly 50 per cent.

Another fascinating technology introduced by TERI is small solar-powered stoves that have the capacity to store energy for minute usage, like charging phones or illuminating a tiny kilowatt light bulb. These energy-efficient stoves were designed to consume less fuel (wood), and aid in reducing indoor and outdoor pollution. More than one hundred of these inventions have been distributed in hinterland communities across the country through the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA).

TERI is also involved in training GEA engineers in conducting assessments of energy management and being able to identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency.

TERI has also been working with GuySuCo to assess the operations of sugar factories and identify measures that would improve energy efficiency.

According to TERI’s Chief Caribbean Representative, Shyam Nokta, energy efficient practices can include simple interventions like turning off the lights, as with the case of GuySuCo.

TERI also worked with the GPL in providing support for a transmission and distribution loss reduction study with a focus on GPL’s large consumers.

TERI has also engaged several local manufacturing entities, including the Beharry Group and Sterling Products Limited, and has provided technical support on energy assessment and management measures

Future projects and challenges

Unlike most international organisations that visit for a few days and provide expert advice, TERI is here to stay and work with partners in all aspects of energy-efficient management, including implementation and sustainability.

Associate Director of TERI, Dr Rudra Narsimha Rao, and his team has been in Guyana for lengthy periods, and has already familiarised themselves with the developments in the local energy sector from a technical standpoint.

Dr Rao told the Guyana Times that his goal is not only to bring expertise, but to introduce advanced technology at affordable prices in Guyana.

TERI is currently engaged in discussions with a number of local companies in regard to ways in which they can cut their energy costs.

Dr Rao explained that each situation is unique, and therefore distinctive solutions have to be designed for each project.

Discussions are ongoing with businesses in the commercial, agriculture and forestry sectors.

As a result of the successful gasifier project, more millers and persons in the woodworking sector have displayed great interest in developing similar apparatus. However, one of the prevailing challenges hindering the implementation of these energy-saving mechanisms is the unfavourable market.

According to Dr Rao, businesses, though excited about implementing cost-cutting measures, do not find it wise to make major investments at a time when the markets are unfavourable; their priority is to remain viable during these turbulent times of poor sector performances.

Global campaign

TERI has taken note of the strong commitment by Guyana to renewable energy and energy efficiency, as demonstrated by the high level of ambition in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) as part of the Paris Agreement and recent efforts towards promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency.

With the work covered in Guyana, TERI hopes to contribute significantly in helping the Government achieve its goal to achieve 100 per cent renewable power by 2025.

In December 2015, a landmark Global Agreement was reached in Paris at the United Nations Convention on Climate Change meeting. It was recognised that if the global community is to achieve the target of keeping global warming to under two degrees Celsius, renewable energy will have an important role to play, and developing countries would have to participate greater.

It was also recognised that achieving these ambitious targets has to be the responsibility of not only Government, but industries and businesses as well.

This is where TERI intends to provide assistance in, among other things, changing attitudes: creating a willingness to embrace new approaches and technologies, and importantly, giving incentives – financial and otherwise – to do so.

Finances

Through the MoU with the Government, most of the projects conducted by TERI in Guyana are heavily subsidised. Moreover, an important catalyst for TERI’s work in Guyana is the strategic partnership established in January 2017 between TERI and EESL (Energy Efficient Solutions Limited – a Government of India Energy Services Company.

The EESL – TERI model is attractive for several reasons, but especially because entities do not have to finance investments upfront, and it provides access to international expertise in energy through TERI.

It also allows for the integration of best available technology at competitive prices, and there is a training and capacity-building component for local personnel.

In the years to come, TERI intends to work closely with all stakeholders, as the institute believes Guyana presents an ideal opportunity to support enhancing the use of renewable energy technologies in a way that would realise economic and environmental benefits and also through a model that could be financially attractive and provide access to cutting-edge technology and expertise.