Today marks another milestone in Dominica's journey towards a majority reliance on renewable energy and a carbon negative future. The Ministry of Trade, Energy and Employment and the Dominica Geothermal Development Company announced that well testing on the site of the new geothermal plant will commence on October 8th. The project will drive the country's energy mix to 51% renewables.
As a volcanic island famous for its hot springs and untainted mountainous terrain, Dominica is harnessing its geothermal potential responsibly for a sustainable economic model. Exploratory programmes have been carried out extensively, with the Dominican government now securing enough capital from both internal and external sources to commence construction.
Energy Minister Ian Douglas says that the new geothermal plant "will benefit all sectors of productive activity in Dominica." It will initially generate 7MW of clean energy able to supply 23,000 homes across the island, which represents nearly the whole Dominican population. Eventually, Dominica has the potential to be a net exporter of green energy, for example, to nearby French territories Martinique and Guadeloupe via submarine cables.
Funding for the development of the geothermal industry in Dominica came from various sources like the European Union, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Clinton Climate Initiative, the Caribbean Development Bank, the World Bank, the British government, and Dominica's own Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme. The latter enables highly vetted foreign investors to obtain Dominica's citizenship in exchange for a US$100,000 minimum contribution to the Economic Diversification Fund (EDF) or an investment of at least US$200,000 in pre-approved luxury real estate that also props Dominica's blossoming ecotourism.
With a clear focus on sustainability, Dominica made future-proof reinvestments from the CBI Programme, particularly from the EDF, into its energy security, infrastructure and housing reinforcement. This puts the 'Nature Isle of the Caribbean' on track to become "the world's first climate-resilient nation," as pledged by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit after Hurricane Maria hit the island in 2017. PwC experts, PM Skerrit and other government representatives credit the CBI Programme for Dominica's rapid recovery post-Maria, often described as nothing short of miraculous.
Source: CS Global Partners
Date: Oct 8, 2019