“Dominica Takes Steps Towards Sustainable Development with Geothermal Energy and Green Hydrogen Agreement”
During my fellowship with Climate Trackers, my stories have focused on several climate justice issues facing Dominica. At the end of six months, a list of possible solutions has been examined, and one of the most viable solutions leans towards geothermal energy.
According to the World Economic Forum, one of the key benefits of geothermal energy is that it is stable, meaning that “it’s not impacted by weather conditions or seasons”. UN also posits that this form of energy contributes minimally to climate change as it produces less carbon dioxide and other toxic substances that create the greenhouse effect. Further research also explains that geothermal energy reduces the use of fossil fuels and increases social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
These benefits of geothermal energy can help Dominica address its climate justice challenges, which I have highlighted for the past five months.
This is why I paid much attention to the 15th Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum in Miami, Florida, which took place from April 26th to 28th. The First Hydrogen Summit saw the signing of the Framework Agreement for industrial-scale hydrogen production. The agreement was formalised between the Government of Dominica and Kenesjay Green Dominica Limited (KGDL), a subsidiary of Kenesjay Green Limited.
Kenesjay Green Limited (KGL) is a Trinidad-based project development company that was founded and headed by Trinidadian Philip Julien in 2020. KGL focuses on the establishment of renewable and low-carbon energy projects.
The government of Dominica, through the Dominica Geothermal Development Company Limited, (a state-owned entity established in 2016 to spearhead activities pertaining to geothermal resources), and KGDL will undertake activities such as sharing technical resources, engineering, marketability, and other feasibility studies, and social impact assessments (ESIA) to de-risk the project.
In a press release, the Government of Dominica stated that the agreement “represents a material step taken by a Caribbean island to monetise its significant geothermal resources on a large scale, through its generation of green hydrogen and green electricity both for export and local consumption”.
The agreement is expected to “initiate the first large-scale green hydrogen geothermal development in the Caribbean.”
Although these outcomes may be far in the future, they include the development of a Green Industrial Eco-Park Project and the exportation of green hydrogen and its derivatives.
CEO of the Climate Resilience Execution Agency for Dominica (CREAD) in Miami, Ambassador Francine Baron, stated that the signing of the agreements “marks a milestone towards developing a more resilient economy and creating a pathway for its green industrialisation.” Baron explained that the agreement is one of many steps that the government has taken towards sustainable development and stems from a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between CREAD and KGDL at COP 26 in 2021.
The objective of the MOU was to complete the Green Hydrogen Country Assessment. Baron further claims that green hydrogen will “catalyze low carbon development towards a net zero region”.
Hon. Dr. Irving McIntyre stated that Dominica and Trinidad are small nations with big ambitions. He further stated that the project will navigate through the challenges with the support of its partners. He called on other regional and international financial institutions and other entities within the circle of green energy to join and collaborate on this positive climate change action.
Dr. McIntye, Attorney-General Levi Peters, CEO of Dominica Geothermal Development Company Limited, Fred John, and Green Climate Fund’s (GCF) National Focal Point for Dominica with the Ministry of Economic Planning, Michael Severine, attended the conference virtually.
The framework agreement was signed in Miami.
What does this mean for the ordinary resident who has been affected by climate change?
The answer is quite simple: the domino effect of this project (if successful) is expected to prompt social transformation and poverty reduction. The cost of electricity is expected to be reduced, thus directly impacting the cost of living. The accompanying economic growth from the opening of the Eco Park on its own will be insufficient for poverty reduction; however, the revenue earned by the country if streamed into social programs can result in support for the most vulnerable.
This story was originally published with the support of the Caribbean Climate Justice Journalism Fellowship, which is a joint venture between Climate Tracker and the Open Society Foundations.