Energy profile: Guyana

From Global Energy Monitor


This page is part of Global Energy Monitor's Latin America Energy Portal.
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Fuel mix (fossil fuels vs renewables)

Annual CO2 emissions in Guyana 1990-2019, Source: Our World in Data

Roughly 90% of Guyana's total energy supply comes from petroleum, with the remaining 10% derived from wood, sugar cane residue, and other renewables.[1] Fossil fuels accounted for 85% of installed capacity and 96% of electrical generation in 2019, complemented by small contributions from biofuels, wind, and solar energy.[1] Guyana's officially stated goal is to double its energy efficiency by 2030 and to approach 100% renewable energy generation by 2040[2], though development of the country's recently discovered fossil fuel resources could interfere with these targets.

Greenhouse gas emissions targets

Until recently, mining and logging have accounted for most of Guyana's greenhouse gas emissions.[3] The majority of Guyana's 2.39 million tons of CO2 emissions (3.05 tons per capita) in 2019 were associated with forestry and changes in land use.[4] Guyana's emerging status as a major oil and gas producer is expected to substantially increase the country's greenhouse gas emissions.[5] Guyana's Nationally Determined Contribution plan sets no specific emissions reduction target, but calls for mitigation measures such as land conservation, reduced impact logging and increased emphasis on renewable energy.[3]

Government energy agencies & other key players

National energy ministry

GEA (Guyana Energy Agency) is responsible for developing Guyana's national energy policy and securing its implementation.[6]

Permitting and regulatory agencies

MNR (the Ministry of Natural Resources) oversees the GGMC (Guyana Geology and Mines Commission), GFC (Guyana Forestry Commission), Guyana Gold Board, and the planned PCG (Petroleum Commission of Guyana). The MNR is responsible for the development, implementation, and oversight of policies in Guyana regarding the exploration, development, utilization, and conservation of natural resources.[7]

Electric utilities

Guyana's state-owned electricity company GPL (Guyana Power and Light Inc.) holds a monopoly on power generation.[8]

National oil company

The newly formed Petroleum Commission of Guyana is slated to become the primary entity governing Guyana's oil and gas industry in 2021.[9][10]

Leading energy companies

Foreign energy companies hold many petroleum blocks in Guyana. Companies of note include ExxonMobil, Hess Corporation, Anadarko Petroleum Company, CGX, and Eco Atlantic.[11][12][13]

Electricity usage

Installed capacity

Guyanese Electrical Generation in 2020, Source: ETI

Guyana has an installed electrical capacity of 347.7 MW.[2] However, over a quarter of electricity is lost during transmission and distribution due to faulty infrastructure.[2]


Guyana produced 1135 GWh of electricity in 2019.[1] As of 2021, GPL accounts for 100% of production. The company has received criticism due to the lack of reliable electricity, high cost, and outdated transmission and distribution lines.[8] The Guyanese government took steps starting in 2020 to lower the cost of electricity primarily through energy diversification efforts.[14]


In 2018, electricity demand was 124.9 MW.[2] As of 2020, 89.7% of the urban population and 80.3% of the rural population had access to electricity.[2] Programs are in place to promote access of rural populations to mostly renewables-based small scale grids.[3][15]


In 2019, Guyana consumed 0.79 billion KWH of energy.[8] Electricity in Guyana is costly, which poses major challenges for residents and businesses.[8][16]

Coal in Guyana

Guyana does not produce, consume, or import coal. [17]

Oil & Natural Gas in Guyana

Domestic Production

Guyana: projections on cash flow developments from oil production operations (constant USD billion), Source: Rystad Energy

The Guyanese government maintains control over offshore oil development and production.[18] Guyana has been a country of interest since the discovery of the Liza I oil field in 2015, which has led to extensive exploration investments and further discoveries in offshore blocks such as Stabroek and Kaieteur.[12][13][19][20] Guyana needs to close the gaps in technical and administrative capacity required for successful management and regulation of the oil industry.[19]

Imports & source countries

Refined petroleum was Guyana's largest import (26.4%) during June 2020 and crude petroleum was its largest export (43.3%).[21]

Proposed new sources & projects

Guyana intends to amp up its use of domestically produced natural gas to reduce costs and displace fuel oil power plants.[16][22] In 2021, the Guyanese government announced a partnership with ExxonMobil to bring more natural gas to the country via the proposed Liza Gas Pipeline and a new natural gas-to-shore facility on the site of the abandoned Wales Estate Sugar Processing Plant.[22]

Renewable Energy in Guyana

Guyana's government has identified wind, solar, biomass, and hydroelectricity as four key elements in its proposal to generate 100% of the country's electricity from renewable sources.[3] The country has potential for both small- and large-scale hydropower[3][8], including the proposed 165 MW Amaila Falls project.[23] Tax concessions and capital write offs are in place for wind and solar investments.[8] Guyana experiences an average of 12 hours of sunlight throughout the year, making it ideal for solar development.[24]

Environmental & social impacts of energy in Guyana

Small island and coastal low-lying developing states such as Guyana are especially vulnerable to the catastrophic weather events associated with climate change.[3] While many have touted the environmental benefits of reduced CO2 emissions associated with the government's planned transition from heavy oil to domestically produced natural gas[16], increased methane emissions from natural gas development may pose an offsetting risk of adverse climate impacts.[25]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Panorama Energético de América Latina y el Caribe 2020". OLADE. November 27, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Guyana: Energy Snapshot" (PDF). Energy Transitions Initiative, US Dept. of Energy. September 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 "Guyana's Revised Intended Nationally Determined Contribution" (PDF). Government of Guyana. May 20, 2016.
  4. Hannah Ritchie; Max Roser (2020-06-11). "CO₂ and Greenhouse Gas Emissions". Our World in Data.
  5. "Guyana's oil will make it one of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters of all time – German NGO". Kaieteur News. 2020-04-24. Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  6. "About Us – Guyana Energy Agency". Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  7. "The Ministry – Ministry of Natural Resources". Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 75. "Guyana -Renewable Energy". International Trade Administration | Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  9. "Legal team amending Petroleum Commission bill". OilNow. 2021-01-08. Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  10. "Petroleum Commission to be in place by year-end – Natural Resources Minister". OilNow. March 19, 2021.
  11. "Who's who in the Oil and Gas sector in Guyana". OilNow. September 22, 2017.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "ExxonMobil's latest discovery raises Guyana recoverables above 8 billion barrels". World Oil. January 27, 2020. Retrieved 2021-06-12.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Worldwide Oil & Gas Exploration". Hess Corporation. Retrieved 2021-06-12.
  14. "Guyana's Government Pledges to Cut Energy Costs by 50 Percent - Caribbean News". Caribbean News. 2020-10-07. Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  15. "Guyana — Climatescope 2017". Climatescope 2017. Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 "Understanding Energy – Gas provides environmental benefits to Guyana - Guyana Chronicle". Guyana Chronicle. 2021-01-24. Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  17. "Guyana Coal Reserves and Consumption Statistics - Worldometer". Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  18. "Guyana's energy policy and the role of the state". OilNow. 2019-05-27. Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "The Boom of Guyana's Oil Industry: Opportunities and Challenges of the New Petrostate". E-International Relations. August 7, 2020.
  20. "Oil Boom Begins in Guyana as Exxon Produces First Liza Crude". Bloomberg. December 20, 2019.
  21. "Guyana (GUY) Exports, Imports, and Trade Partners". Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  22. 22.0 22.1 David Blackmon. "ExxonMobil Natural Gas Will Help Guyana Meet Its Climate Goals". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  23. "Guyana government says 165-MW Amaila Falls hydro "will become a reality" | Hydro Review". Hydro Review. February 15, 2021.
  24. "Success Story - Guyana - GGGI Report 2018". Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  25. "Natural gas is a much 'dirtier' energy source, carbon-wise, than we thought". National Geographic: Science. February 19, 2020. Retrieved 2021-06-12.