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Geothermal energy with enormous potential in Guadeloupe, Caribbean

Bouillante geothermal power plant, Guadeloupe (source: OECS)
Alexander Richter 6 Nov 2019

Scientists believe that the French territory of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean could derive around 30% of its electricity from geothermal resources. Currently it derives 6% from its only geothermal power plant Bouillante, owned and operated by Ormat Technologies.

Scientists say that the enormous geothermal potential remains largely undervalued in the French Caribbean territory of Goudeloupe. In the near future, geothermal energy could cover nearly 30% of the territory’s electricity needs. Currently, about 6% of the territory is derived from the Bouillante geothermal power plant of Ormat Technologies.

An article reports on rapidly progressing research, via the GEOTREF project, an innovation platform for the exploration and development of geothermal energy. It benefits from the expertise of a consortium of public and private structures.

But money remains a key issue. Not in terms of profitability but first in terms of investment cost for research and, in particular in exploration for the location of reservoirs. The cost thereof is often in several tens of millions of Euros.

Jean-Marc Lardeaux, Professor of Geology at the “Nice Sophia Antipolis” University and former Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board for Geothermal Energy in France, says that Guadeloupe is far from the exploitation phase of new reservoirs, other than those managed by ORMAT, in Bouillante.

The fault in the area from Bouillante to Vieux-Habitants, however, seems promising according to the results of geological research, project GEOTREF. But the only drilling envisaged, for the time being, is synonymous with sampling, in depth exploration, for research, preceded by rigorous studies and surveys.

Jean-Frédéric Lebrun, Professor, Head of the geology department, at the University of the West Indies, on the Campus de Fouillole
geothermal energy And for the University of the West Indies, says that geothermal energy is also a great source of integration. It has also made a research channel, because in the near future, Guadeloupe will also need engineers and specialized technicians.

The example of Alexiane Favier is relevant in this regard. Geothermal energy was at the center of her research. The young woman defended her thesis on October 30 in Fouillole, before an audience of eminent scientists, all rave about the clarity of its restitution, written and oral.

The developed subject, after 3 years and a half of research: the “spatio-temporal evolution of hydrothermalism, in the upper plate of the arch of the Lesser Antilles, in Guadeloupe”.

In fact, Alexiane FAVIER has brilliantly contributed to the GEOTREF project and is, according to the members of the jury, promised a bright future.