Thornley Myers, CEO of VINLEC. (IWN file photo)

The coming on stream of a geothermal energy plant in St. Vincent and the Grenadines will not result in an immediate removal of the dreaded fuel surcharge on consumer’s electricity bill.

“We are extremely hopeful that while, in the short-term, geothermal will not eliminate the fuel surcharge, it will make it an item of significantly less concern to electricity consumers,” Chief Executive officer of VINLEC Thornley Myers said on Monday.

Speaking Monday in Bamboo Range, near Rabacca, at a ceremony to mark the official commencement of the exploratory drilling as part of the geothermal project, Myers said:

“The existence of a geothermal plant generating electricity means that VINLEC will use significantly less diesel for the generation of electricity and we will, therefore, not be as exposed to the ups and downs of fuel prices and the international market.

“The identification and exploration of the country’s geothermal resources could convert St. Vincent into one of the countries in the Caribbean whose electricity network would be powered completely from green and renewable energy resources.”

Myers said that despite the contribution that hydroelectricity continues to make — 16 per cent of electricity currently generated — the cost of electricity in SVG continues to be among the highest in the region.

Successive governments have sought to address the matter and, to date, there is a constant in the electricity supply that has made this virtually impossible.

“And this is due to the role of diesel as the prime supply for the generation of electricity,” Myers said, adding that the situation dates back to 1974 and continues to the present, as Vincentians continue to bemoan the presence of the fuel surcharge on their electricity bill.

Myers said that, globally, there is interest in geothermal because of the potential to lower the cost of electricity.

He said that in SVG, the interest goes beyond the obvious and extends to the potential social and economic benefits of lower energy cost as well as interest in reducing the nation’s carbon footprint resulting from the burning of fossil fuel for the production of electricity.

The drilling of four wells, which began last week, is expected to be completed by December.

However, the government expects to know before then, the true potential of the geothermal energy resource, which is linked to the La Soufriere Volcano.

The question that the government is yet to answer is how much of a reduction consumers will see on their electricity bill as a result of the $91-million project.

Myers said that it is projected that, in the short-term, on successful completion of the geothermal drilling and commissioning of the geothermal plant on or close to the site, in excess of 50 per cent of the electricity generated in SVG will be delivered from the geothermal plant.

With approximately 16 per cent of VINLEC’s electricity coming from hydro generation and the company’s efforts at expanding solar, SVG, in four years, could be generating up to 75 per cent of its electricity requirement for indigenous resources, Myers said.

He said that the policy direction of the government speaks to an increasing contribution from local resources for the generation of electricity.

“And together, VINLEC and the government intend to work at ensuring set targets while maintaining the quality and improving the reliability of the electricity system.”

He said the long term impact of reducing and, ultimately, eliminating fossil fuels as the primary source for the generation of electricity is one of self-preservation for SVG as well as our small contribution to saving planet earth.

“The impact of climate change resulting in part from the emissions resulting from the burning of fossil fuels is all too well known to Vincentians,” Myers said.

“As countries on the frontline of the impact of climate change, we owe it to ourselves and generations to come to not only call on major nations of the world to reduce their carbon footprint by reducing the burning of fossil fuels but also to do whatever little is within our scope to reduce our carbon footprint.

“The harnessing of a resource in St. Vincent for the generation of electricity will certainly make a significant impact and the countries foray into geothermal electricity has received the attention of the international community.”

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7 Comments

    1. BIG Youth, In the past you have made some very informative comments. Great observation, I agree. Governments see thier main purpose is to fool the people into believing what they want us to believe in order to get our money so they can spend it on whatever gets them votes and for thier comfort and wealth, but not necessarily what is good for the country, such as roads.

      Some great person once said that you can tell how much a government cares about its people by looking at the state of the roads. What does that tell you about SVG?

      Reply

  1. Elma Gabriel says:

    Well this is just another infrastructure like AIA, which is a sacrifice made in consideration to the future of the next generation. The fact as stated that “SVG, in four years, could be generating up to 75 per cent of its electricity requirement for indigenous resources”, notwithstanding the ‘$91 Million’ overhead cost of the project, and that uncalculated uncertainty to that of the 25% energy required.
    It would appear that the source is contingent to that of the future substitutions should a disruption to our volcano is provoked by climate change?
    However, Can we for one minute disown our role to the problem of ‘climate change’ which is already displaying its ugly signs and wonders to OUR world? “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;” Psalm 24

    Reply

    1. the first two paragraphs may be a little to elaborate for me ……but love everything you said in your last paragraph ….

      Reply

  2. The forecast does not take into account the catastrophe that may result from another eruption of La souriere which may hamper future supply of geothermal electricity .

    Reply

  3. I sincerely hope that this project does not fall into the realm of the Airport fiasco where there is no accountability. I heard the Agricultural minister is talking banana cultivation again after all these years when Noel Jackson said that idea is dead. Elections is coming citizens, I need someone to hold my beer.

    Reply

  4. At first we have to mention the misinformation put out by Mr. Myers and many others, not only in SVG but around the world:
    The climate is not significantly changing due to carbon emissions. Al Gore and so many FAKE SCIENTISTS are telling us that the climate is changing due to increased CO2 levels. The opposite is true. CO2 is one of the most essential molecules to sustaining life on planet Earth. Mr. Myers and all the other phonies need to go back to High School Biology and learn about Photosynthesis. CO (Carbon Monoxide) is different. CO is a pollutant, CO2 is not. Although CO does not affect the climate significantly it is a nasty pollutant.
    I remember back when I was at the University learning Ecology and Atmospheric Science from some of the top people in those fields. We had different scientists giving seminars every week. Back in those days, what was then called “The Greenhouse Effect” was becoming a popular theory. They told us that by the year 1995 Venice and other cities will be under water! When that did not happen Al Gore told us that by the year 2000, 8 major cities would be under water from ice melt. Then they said by the year 2013 snow and ice will be a thing of the past and there will be no more. I could write a book on all the FAKE SCIENCE I have heard all these years. At the moment the ice cap at the North Pole is the largest ever. These FAKE SCIENTISTS have consistently been wrong for decades! Those scientists that base thier information on real facts and research get fired from thier jobs and are discredited. Contrarily, those scientists that are in favor of fracking with toxic chemicals and showering the atmosphere with Aluminum Oxide and other toxic chemicals are promoted. There is an agenda at work here and the reader should do some research and try to find the real truth and stop listening to those that have been fooled theirselves. or are part of the agenda.

    The Co-Founder of Green Peace and many other REAL SCIENTISTS have come out and said the same as I have just said, although Google and all the social Media try to silence them. If the “Cap and Trade” and system of “Carbon Credits” comes into full swing because the uninformed, doltish, and the stupid demand it, then we will only have ourselves to blame when Saint Vincent will be on the road to becoming an even poorer country with no hope of ever having prosperity while the USA will have all means to secure wealth and the ability and legal right to reach thier goal of “Full Spectrum Dominance”.over the earth.

    Reply

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