The Worldwatch Institute recently released the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS) Baseline Assessment and Report, the first-ever of its kind for the Caribbean, with input from the member countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The report assesses the regional energy situation and makes suggestions for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate mitigation, with targets and next steps. Most CARICOM member states possess untapped geothermal resources, which could dramatically change the region by making member states renewable energy exporters, according to the report. It states:
Although geothermal energy has been slow to develop in CARICOM, it offers tremendous opportunities for those member states with high resource potentials, and even for the region as a whole if it can benefit from opportunities for interconnection and trade. Investment risks, long lead-times, and economies of scale have hampered geothermal exploration in the Caribbean in the past, but several new initiatives indicate that some CARICOM members are close to overcoming these challenges. Geothermal plants are undergoing preliminary construction in St. Kitts and Nevis and in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Exploratory drilling has taken place in Dominica and Montserrat. Meanwhile, Grenada and Saint Lucia are conducting on-site resource assessments and exploring the possibility of commercial-scale extraction.
Alexander Ochs, Director of Climate and Energy at Worldwatch and lead author of the report said in a statement, “A month before the milestone United Nations climate summit in Paris, and on the day of the launch of the Caribbean Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, this report leads the way for CARICOM and its Member States to become global sustainable energy leaders. We were extremely excited two years ago when CARICOM Member States reviewed an early draft of this report at a Meeting of Energy Ministers and agreed on the preliminary goal of a 48% renewable electricity share. Today’s updated and extended report adds energy efficiency and climate mitigation to the equation and is accessible to anyone in the region. It provides the analysis and tools necessary to realize the vision of an economically and environmentally sustainable Caribbean region.”
The 15 member countries are: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. U.S. agencies this month launched the new Clean Energy Finance Facility for Central America and the Caribbean (CEFF-CCA), which was announced by President Obama earlier this year.
This article was originally published in the Geothermal Energy Association's GeoEnergyWire, and was republished with permission.
Lead image: Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean. Credit: Shutterstock.