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80 per cent renewable energy for SVG by 2019

80 per cent renewable energy for SVG by 2019


By 2019, the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines will deliver geothermal energy to the homes of Vincentians.

This is the prediction of Minister of Economic Planning, Sustainable Development, Industry, Information and Labour, Camillo Gonsalves.{{more}}

Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday, Gonsalves said that means when that happens, Vincentians will consume 80 per cent of renewable resources and 20 per cent fossil fuel.

“Currently St Vincent and the Grenadines gets 20 per cent of our energy from renewable resources, which is mainly hydro and some solar; by 2019 we’re going to flip that and we will have 80 per cent, so we’re going now from 20 per cent renewable, 80 per cent fossil fuel, we’re going to flip that by 2019. We’ll be 80 per cent renewable and 20 per cent fossil fuel, because geothermal energy is going to provide, in rough terms, about 50 per cent of the base load of the electricity that is required,” he stated.

Gonsalves further disclosed that the government of the United Kingdom has provided a grant to the geothermal budget in the sum of four million pounds.

“That is grant funding that we will use as part of the state’s contribution to the geothermal effort,” he added.

He noted that the four millions pounds is in addition to the soft loan of US$15 million from the Abu Dhabi fund for development, which also forms part of the state’s contribution.

Gonsalves, who recently attended a board of governors meeting of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and also the annual meeting of governors of the CDB from May 16 to 22 in Montego Bay, Jamaica, said he was grateful to the people and government of the United Kingdom for this four million pound grant.

He further noted that the Vincentian government received approval from the board of directors of the CDB for an additional US$9.5 million to support the drilling phase of the geothermal effort.

“Its called a contingently recoverable grant from the CDB.”

Gonsalves explained that the money is grant, but if the geothermal project hits commercially viable resources, then the grant becomes a soft loan, so they can recover it if it is successful.

“This is one sense where we want to pay back the money, because we want to be successful in our first attempt.”

The Minister said the Government has done extensive preliminary work and is confident that when drilling begins they would be successful.

“But it does happen from time to time that your initial hole is not the most successful or most viable drilling point, but from the geothermal front, from the CDB’s four million pounds as a grant, and nine and half million dollars as a contingently recoverable grant, and that’s very good news for us and what we’re trying to do with geothermal,” he added.

Gonsalves stated that the Government is progressing well in the area of geothermal and has partnered with persons from Iceland and Canada.

“We anticipate to move to the next phase of this geothermal project in the very near future, so there is some news on geothermal development,” he added.(AS)