By Loshaun Dixon
Basseterre, St. Kitts-The potential for geothermal energy in the Federation took an upswing accorging to the Hon. Ian ‘Patches’ Liburd who disclosed some positive news based on a peer review on geothermal prospects.
More than a year ago, 2015 the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis increased its efforts to find and expand renewable energy alternatives by conducting a feasibility study in St. Kitts to see if there was any potential for geothermal energy.
Last week in an interview with the press, Mr. Liburd gave an update on the possibility of geothermal energy by saying, “We have some very positive news. A very reputable international firm has established there is in fact a geothermal resource on St. Kitts.”
He cautioned there still must be exploratory drilling to confirm the resource and to determine how many mega watts can be derived from those wells.
“What we are looking at between 18 and 35 megawatts so it is positive news,” he declared.
Liburd said a risk analysis has been started.
‘It is a public private partnership (PPP)approach and analysis,” he said. ” We have engaged the Caribbean Development Bank and the CARICOM Energy Unit to help us.“
The Energy Minister also gave a timeline of the upcoming steps of the initiative.
“We just got back some reports from both parties and hopefully in the new year we can meet the legal experts, Financial experts and all the technical people to finalize the agreement,” he declared.
He said the government would first have to establish an Drilling Incentivisation Agreement with developers.
“Without the agreement we can’t accept the terms of the exploration drilling. Hopefully by the end of January we can get to that stage,” he said.
The Geothermal project forms part of the government’s overall thrust to develop a green economy in the Federation. Its debt to the Petro Caribe organization has amounted to close to $100 millon.
For the past 12 year Nevis has being trying to establish its own geothermal gains. In May 2013, Liburd said the work in St. Kitts should not stop the advances made in Nevis or slow down St. Kitts’ own development of geothermal energy.
“The development in St. Kitts will not stop and the notion will not put a road block in the progress of development in Nevis. The fact that it is on Nevis should not exclude us from developing on St. Kitts. Both will complement each other,” he said.