Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. (IWN file photo)

The geothermal energy in St. Vincent and the Grenadines will produce enough electricity to export to Barbados, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves says.

He further told his annual town hall meeting in New York on Saturday that the geothermal energy will eliminate the use of diesel-generated electricity in this country in 10 years.

“The geothermal source which we have is an excellent source. They are currently doing the mapping as to the extent of the source. The estimates range from 150 megawatts to in excess of 500 megawatts,” he told the gathering.

“We will know precisely what the figure is, at least the ballpark figure. But if you take into account that our peak demand in St. Vincent now is 21 megawatts, you will see that not only will we have geothermal energy, for all time but we will have enough to export to Barbados,” he said, adding that that is why Emera, an Canadian energy firm, is involved.

“In the first four years, we anticipate that we will have the first 10 megawatts,” he said.

He noted that just over 4 megawatts of electricity is generated by hydropower here and on-going upgrades will generate a further 1.1 megawatts.

He further spoke of the possibility of 10 megawatts being generated by geothermal energy in four years.

“It means that after four years, you are going to have 15 megawatts – three-quarters of your demand,” Gonsalves said.

“Of course, the price is going to fall significantly — the price for fuel, which is a constraint on people in their homes and also for the hoteliers and investors who come. And, as the price falls, more investment will come to the country and greater wealth will be created in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Gonsalves said.

“And it is part of our vision that after 10 years, we intend for St. Vincent and the Grenadines to be entirely green in the delivery of energy, principally in geothermal and hydro and with a mix with solar,” he further stated.

“The beautiful thing about geothermal is that it provides a base load for the grid of 98 per cent; wind and solar will provide just below 40 per cent.

So, if you do wind and solar, you still will have to have a substantial amount of imported fuel to do the generation for the electricity.”

Gonsalves said geothermal energy is part of the vision in developing the country.

“We have tried before in getting a company but it is through the work and the connection with the Clinton Global Initiative that we were able to match the Clinton Global Initiative, which is providing free technical advice in the negotiating process and also to twin Emera and Reykjavik Geothermal,” he said.

“Now, no one seriously believes that Emera will come to St. Vincent to put in the facilities to generate only 10 megawatts of power. They have their eye on a larger prize,” he said.

He further said that people may ask if he is serious that SVG can export energy to Barbados.

“I know that is going through your head. Well, they had told me I was a crazy man, I couldn’t build an airport at Argyle,” he further said of the EC$652 million project, the nation’s first international airport.

Gonsalves, who was in New York for the U.N. General Assembly meeting, said he held talks with the Clinton Global Initiative on the subject.

He said that Emera, Reykjavik Geothermal, the Clinton Initiative and the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines are “partnering in the matter of the exploitation of geothermal energy.

“We signed a memorandum of understanding with the Clinton Climate Initiative,” he said.

6 replies on “SVG could begin exporting energy to Barbados, PM Gonsalves says”

  1. canute campbell says:

    I am at a loss. In what way would we transport energy to Barbados. You say Geothermal energy. How is that. Could you please explain to me. I know that energy could come from The Soufere Volcano, if people can do the technology to harness the heat generated and avoid an eruption. But to give it to Barbados, how is that possible without an under water cable 150 miles long. But for real, it could happen.

  2. Thermal power, another NDP initiative that he has taken as his own, the pretence is remarkable. Difference is that the NDP was slated to of finished this project in 2004.

    Laptops for school children, an NDP idea, taken by Gonsalves and pretended as his own project.

    Cocoa, an NDP idea and Gonsalves embraced it as his own. Problem is a very silly deal was struck, which will scew our farmers for a longer time than they will live.

    International airport, an NDP idea, taken by Gonsalves and managed and undertaken in such a way, that SVG is all but bankrupt, trading whilst insolvent.

  3. We had to pull Ralph kicking and screaming into the modern day ways to generate electricity. He has finally made the right move to use the resources in the area to generate electricity. Congratulations on this move, it was long overdue. I have been writing about this issue for more than ten years.
    However don’t put it in the same playing filed as the airport, because the airport is not completed and there are more apparent advantages in the electricity project to the ordinary Vincentian than the airport. Let’s face it: One will cost Vincentians more money and the other will save Vincentians money.

  4. Here we go again! Talking about things he doesn’t know about. Let’s not forget he is a lawyer, not an engineer. A geothermal plant would literally take years. At least 8 years if they had all the funding and start tomorrow. Thank goodness that people in SVG are waking up to your nonsense Mr.Pm.

    A geothermal plant would have been a way better investment than the airport many times over, but instead you built the airport against the judgement of many who knew better than you mr PM and put our country in near bankruptcy for politics, and you are here talking about geothermal now????? Is this man for real.

    And now after you bankrupt us, your are here to tell us about a private company? who is going to ship most of the profits out of SVG. Have you lost your mind Dr. Ralph? At least try to make some sense. Do something to build the agriculture in our country and get out people off poor relief that you keep bragging about. And stop talking about reparations that is at least 30 – 50 years in the future. It’s official, this man has lost his mind. Call election now sir.

    Just call election and get out of office soon. Maybe then we would get back to realiality

  5. Yes that is possible, in fact if Mr Glass is given the deeds to SVG he wil be more than happy to lay the cable.

    Or we could get ‘Larry The Cable Guy’ from the US,

    I would put my bets on ‘Kelly the Cable Guy’ he has done some great projects for us.

  6. Most volcanic eruptions are a result of pressure release from sudden tectonic plate movement or the release of gradually built up molten pressure. Nothing can prevent the first, extracting energy might actually delay the second.

    It’s a good idea but we need to be given an accurate cost. This will be another half Billion dollar project:
    1. The Volcano will more than like become more of an industrial looking site with equipment than an attraction. For the greater good guess we can live with that.
    2. The power would need to be stepped up to very high voltages for cost effective transmission that distance ( P = I^2 * R). Substations and transformers will be required in both SVG & BGI.
    3. We will still require an alternative source of power generation such as Solar or Diesel just to serve as back up / redundancy. Will be at a much smaller scale but still required.

    Great idea, we need to be honest about the cost.

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