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Caribbean islands moving ahead on geothermal development

Dominica, Caribbean (source: flickr/ boshamite, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 11 Oct 2012

Caribbean island states are moving ahead on geothermal development with concreate activities in Dominica and Montserrat, but the region also faces challenges - some specific to the region.

The Caribbean island states are moving ahead with geothermal development. The region blessed with geothermal resources, but also faces several challenges.

The Caribbean has great resources but is challenged by a situation where geothermal is a valid and economic option to become independent from electricity generation through fossil fuels and the increase of fuel costs, while at the same time the issue of scale makes development difficult. The demand is often not that great to justify large development and the risk for smaller projects is often higher than for larger scale projects, at least financially. So there have been made efforts to discuss electricity transmission schemes among the different island states of the Caribbean.

For now the different countries are exploring their own solutions. While the French territory at Guadeloupe has currently the only geothermal plant in the region, Dominica, Nevis & St. Kitts and Montserrat (UK territory) are actively pursuing geothermal development. There has also been named interest by South Korean investors in development on St. Lucia

These islands are in different stages of development. While Nevis & St. Kitts was likely to move ahead of the others, there are currently no news on where the project stands after there have been issues raising the necessary finance and political opposition to government guarantees.

Dominica – with support and finance by European nations – has moved ahead and first exploration wells have proven successful. Montserrat is about to release results of a tender held to start initial exploration on the island state.

So things are moving ahead in this region and it will be interesting to follow up on this in the next couple weeks.