Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Timothy Antoine has called for the region to move to renewable energy.
His comment came at a discussion during his recent visit to Dominica.
According to Mr. Antoine, transformation in the region is not possible without addressing energy.
“We cannot continue to rely on importing energy, because what we do is we put our economies at the mercy of our exporters,” he said. “It is in our best interest, national and regional interests, to develop renewable energy, so that we have energy secured.”
He continued, “We are paying some of the highest rates for electricity in the western hemisphere…”
Mr. Antoine added, “We must and I emphasize, we must move to renewable energy, as long as it takes, as hard as it is we have to persevere.”
Furthermore, he stated that the government and the people of Dominica have made a great choice in investing in geothermal energy.
“I know it’s taking a while, but there are as many rivers to cross, but we are getting there…,” Mr. Antoine indicated, ” I am confident we will, we must.”
In an earlier report this year, Energy Minister Dr. Vince Henderson said Dominica has the potential to generate over 300 megawatts of power to totally eliminate fuel surcharge.
“We have also completed the drilling of the reinjection well and that’s the one I was nervous about because that one is critical. We had no reinjection well so this is the missing component to really construct a power plant and now we have tested and we know it has the capacity to do what it is designed for and to ensure that we can run a 10 MW geothermal power plant,” he said.
Henderson stated that the next stage is to move into the construction of the power plant and is excited about what has been achieved so far.
According to him, this plant will provide an opportunity for Dominica to help to develop new industries, make business more competitive and lift more people out of poverty.
He added that it is also expected that once negotiations are concluded on the power plant it will take two years to complete the plant.
Work is also being done on the transmission line from Laudat to Fond Cole with the hope that a contract will be issued soon to see its construction.
So far, 15 million U.S. dollars have been spent on the project.