Reliability of the utility / mains electricity supply is low, and characterized by extreme voltage variations, load discharges and frequent and long outages (the highest incidence in Latin America and the Caribbean).
The electricity sector in Guyana is dominated by Guyana Power and Light (GPL), the state-owned utility. Although the country has a large potential for hydroelectric and bagasse / bio-fuelled power generation, most of its installed capacity is derived from old, obsolete and inefficient thermoelectric diesel-engine driven generators.
The voltage distribution system of GPL delivers both 50 and 60 cycle power, however standardization of the supply frequency at 60Hz is an ongoing undertaking.
It is estimated that the electricity grid in Guyana services only about 60 per cent of the population, well below the level achieved by Guyana’s regional neighbours. While electrification is higher in coastal towns, where industrial activity is concentrated and 80% of the population lives, there are vast areas outside the coastal plain, commonly referred to as the Hinterland and primarily populated by indigenous Amerindian communities that are underserved.
In recent years the consumption of electricity has increased substantially and the installed generation and distribution capacity has failed to keep pace. For many business users and more affluent home users the gap between consumption and generation has necessitated the need for self-generation, thru the use of expensive standby generators.
The poor quality of electricity supply in Guyana is viewed as a fundamental obstacle to future economic growth.
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