I find it quite baffling that, as a young Guyanese, I am able to foresee the countless opportunities which would follow the gas-to-shore project much clearer than Mr. GHK Lall. Undoubtedly, the gas-to-shore project, when compared to a solar energy project, is more beneficial to the Guyanese populace, including young individuals like me, who are currently unemployed.
Recently, I took note of Mr. GHK Lall’s missive that encouraged a side-by-side comparison of gas-to-shore and solar energy projects in terms of determining which is cheaper and could offer the better answer for energy dilemmas in Guyana. However, Mr. GHK Lall failed to realise and shed light on the fact that even though solar energy is known to be a cleaner alternative to natural gas, the spin-off benefits of natural gas are far greater than those of solar energy.
In fact, as the gas-to-shore project expands to the point where it could be utilised, there would be need for power plants, gas facilities, and other supporting industries, so as to ensure that Guyanese benefit in every regard. This means that the country would see the introduction of new industries, which ultimately would create thousands of jobs for Guyanese who, like me, are unemployed.
With a solar energy project, the number of jobs that would be created, as well as the number of industries that would be introduced are incomparable to the gas-to-shore project. Any right-thinking Guyanese would support the gas-to-shore project as against a solar energy project without hesitation.
At the same time, it is a fact that the natural gas which would be piped to shore would be significantly inexpensive. This would mean that Guyanese taxpayers’ dollars would not have to be injected into getting the gas to shore, as the cost would be met by the operators themselves. I learnt of this through the Ministry of Education’s offering of online courses through Coursera, which allowed me to gain a certificate in Oil and Gas Operations as well as insight into gas-to-shore operations. One of the things that were taught was that when operators are able to meet the cost of investment, it would later form part of the total cost recovery. I believe that this is advantageous, as it would mean that Guyana would be able to save hundreds of millions in foreign currency.
Therefore, I believe that the comparison made by Mr GHK Lall between the gas-to-shore project and a solar energy project is misguided. The main reason for my viewpoint is that the gas-to-shore project offers advantages and opportunities that are far greater than those of a solar energy project. Perhaps Mr GHK Lall should revisit the comparison he made and do some additional research.