$71.5M Funding Program to Support Geothermal Development in Eastern Caribbean

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) have approved a new $71.5 million loan and grant package, called the Sustainable Energy Facility (SEF), that will support geothermal and other sustainable energy development projects in the Eastern Caribbean.

“A substantial focus of the SEF will be to provide seed resources to CDB’s GeoSMART Facility, which is being established to support geothermal energy development in the region,” Tessa Williams-Robertson, head of CDB’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Unit, said in a statement. “GEOSMART will provide financing instruments appropriate to address the level of risk associated with each stage of the geothermal development.”

The SEF will include financing from IDB’s Clean Technology Fund, a multi-contributor trust that promotes low-carbon technologies.

“Geothermal power plants established in each of the Eastern Caribbean countries with potential could have aggregate capacity of proximately 60 MW, which would substitute the equivalent amount of diesel and heavy fuel oil currently used for base-load power generation,” Christiaan Gischler, IDB’s team leader for the SEF, said in a statement.

Gischler said that Eastern Caribbean governments and geothermal developers will be encouraged to form public and private partnerships under the SEF in order to minimize risks associated with geothermal development.

In addition to about $42 million in grants and loans, about $29 million will be distributed for private sector electric utility projects and at least one government energy sector/policy project.

Lead image: Trunk Bay, St John, United States Virgin Islands. Credit: Shutterstock.

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