SURINAME RENEWABLE ENERGY FORUM | INTRODUCTION TO HOST COUNTRY

Suriname is a small middle-income country with an estimated population of 551,000 people concentrated in the coastal areas, and a sparsely populated interior that extends to the Amazon Rainforest (locally known as Hinterland).

The National Power System consists of seven isolated power networks served by the public utility company Energie Bedrijven Suriname (EBS) based on hydro and thermal generation. The Electrica grid for the capital Paramaribo (EPAR) is the largest network, serving around 143,485 customers, with peak demand of around 200 Megawatts (MW). EPAR has mainly depended on power supply from the 189 MW Afobaka hydropower plant, which generates about 50% of total electricity consumed in Suriname.

The quality of service in the EPAR system is critical during peaks periods in the dry season, coinciding with the warmer periods of the year (partly related to the consumption of air-conditioning equipment) and higher solar irradiation. Renewable Energy (RE) distributed generation with solar photovoltaic technology and Energy Efficiency (EE) can help to improve the reliability and quality of the electricity supply. Also, solar energy can contribute to defer additional investments in new generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure and reduce overloads in the power system.

EE and RE can also increase affordability of the electricity, specially reducing the energy bills to the most vulnerable customers, as well as bring economic savings to the Government of Suriname (GoS), as currently electricity is highly subsidized. Finally RE can contribute to reduce the CO2 emission from the energy sector and to the creation of new green jobs.

Due to the quality of the solar resource in Suriname, despite the rapid fall in the costs of solar technology, solar generation will likely be a good option for small-scale installations in poorly interconnected areas of the country. Some small-scale projects have already been developed, including EBS’ 500 kW solar project in Atjoni and the RGM’s 5MW project at its gold mining site.

Suriname has the minimum solar resources required for energy production. Overall, photovoltaic power potential is relatively low. We have an average between 4 to 5 sunhours in Suriname, except for a small stretch of land near Nieuw Nickerie and Brokopondo which have a high photovoltaic potential. The Regional & Suriname Renewable Energy Forum 2022 will be the first coordinated in person event in 2022 to kickstart the Renewable Energy future of Suriname. This will be a way to establish a solid base for cooperation and collaboration among relevant stakeholders in the public and private domain in order to contribute to a more reliable and coordinated effort to improve the use of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency as an integral and significant part of the electricity planning in Suriname.

 2. Goals

The goals for organizing this event are the following:

  • Creating a solid foundation for the development of Renewable Energy in Suriname and the region for the coming years
  • Promote and facilitate coordination, interaction and collaboration (synergy) between government (public sector), companies (private sector), research, legislation and regulations and policy (ESP, etc)
  • Networking & Business Development
  • Market Intelligence (market data and research, data sharing, etc)
  • Solutions-Oriented stakeholder engagement
  • Exchange of knowledge sharing in energy sector
  • Building bridges on a regional and international level

The proposed venue is Torarica Hotel & Resort Ballroom and Baquethall, as this provides enough room for hosting a large event as this one will be and also is able to facilitate additional sessions such as workshops.

The dates for this event are the following:

Tuesday 29th of November, Wednesday 30th of November and Thursday 1st of December 2022

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