Roseau, Dominica – August 1, 2008……… The signing of an agreement between the Government of Dominica and West Indies Power Dominica Limited (WIPD), the implementation of the project ” Preparation of a Geothermal-based Cross-Border Electrical Interconnection in the Caribbean as well as the “Geothermal Energy in the Caribbean Islands Project” puts Dominica at the vanguard of international efforts aimed at the development of renewable energy resources.
The granting of the licence to WIPD to develop Dominica’s geothermal energy resources in the south of the island is in addition to the preliminary exploration of the geothermal energy resources in the Wotton Waven area now being undertaken under the Geothermal Energy in the Caribbean Islands project funded under the Interreg lll B Programme of the European Union.
Geologist Herve Traineau and Geophysicist, Nicholas Coppo of the French Geological Survey visited Dominica at the end of May, 2008 to undertake task two(2) and prepare for task four(4) of the project, which involves geological and geophysical analyses of the geothermal resources in the Wotton Waven area.
The signing of a transnational partnership agreement between the Government of Dominica and the Regional Council of Guadeloupe for the development of Dominica’s geothermal energy resources took place earlier this year. This agreement falls under the Geothermal Energy in the Caribbean Islands project.
The agreement provides for the detailed geological, geophysical and geochemical analyses and related environment and feasibility studies on the geothermal resource.
The financing agreement with the European Commission for the project: Preparation of a Geothermal-based Cross-Border Interconnection in the Caribbean was signed in January, 2008. The Project cost is approximately 4 million Euros. It is being financed by the European Commission, the Agence Francais de Developpement (AFD) and the Fonds Francais pour L’ Environnement Môndial (FFEM).
This Project builds on a wider programme for the development of Dominica’s geothermal resources, which also includes the efforts of the OAS, the GEF, CARICOM, the Regional Councils of Martinique and Guadeloupe and French development agencies like ADEME and BRGM, and Venezuela, Nicaragua and Iceland.
For decades various Governments have pledged to pursue the development of the Dominica’s renewable energy resources, geothermal in particular. However the Labour Party Governments of Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit and former Prime Minister, Hon. Pierre Charles, have done more in the pursuit of the development of the country’s renewable energy resources.
At the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development, in Johannesburg, South Africa in September, 2002 the then Prime Minister, Hon. Pierre Charles presented a powerful case to the international community of Dominica’s commitment to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign energy resources.
“The Dominica government has determined that greater energy security is one of most important national objectives and that dependence on foreign energy resources cannot be in our long-term interest. Given our country’s energy resource endowment, we have come to the realization that the only future for Dominica in the energy arena is the development of our renewable energy resources.”
In his 2008/2009 Budget Address, on the subject of renewable energy, Prime Minister Skerrit said:
“This Government is clear that all options including, but not limited to geothermal, wind, hydro and solar should be investigated as alternatives to fossil fuel. In that regard, we continue to work with interested investors to adopt energy technologies that are not highly dependent on fossil fuel.”
The successful implementation of the development of Dominica’s geothermal energy resources will ensure the supply of much cheaper electricity locally and the capacity to export to the neighbouring islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.