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Progress on geothermal energy development in Eastern Caribbean

Geothermal Plant on Guadeloupe in 1978 by Daniel Jolivet (Source: Flickr/Daniel Jolivet/creative commons)
Parker O'Halloran 11 May 2017

Many countries in the Caribbean are prime locations for geothermal development. Lining up funding and risk mitigation are the main hurdles.

Many countries in the Caribbean are prime locations for geothermal development. Lining up funding and risk mitigation measures are the main hurdles facing these small nations. Here are some excepts from a recently published booklet from the Caribbean Development Bank to address some of these challenges.

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has identified many of its Borrowing Member Countries in the Eastern Caribbean as having tremendous potential for geothermal energy. These countries include: the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitt’s and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent, and the Grenadines. Over the past few years, these countries have begun the process of exploration and development of their geothermal potential.

The CDB has initiated their GeoSmart Initiative (GSI) in response to the need of risk mitigation measures to sponsor geothermal development in the area. The aim of CDB-GSI is to enhance the viability and to provide resources that will address the various types of risks at presented at each stage of a geothermal development project. These resources will include technical assistance grants, investment grants, contingently recoverable grants, concessional loans, and loans at market terms. Funding will be determined on a case-by-case basis and will be capped for each stage contingent on the amount of resources available.

The estimated potential for geothermal in these countries is estimated to be far greater than the current demand of 265 MW. The CDB has estimated a cost of $500 million USD to establish the first plant in each of the aforementioned countries over the next five years.

Source: CDB GeoSmart Initiative booklet, Renewable Energy, Caribbean Development Bank, www.caribank.org April 2017.