Geothermal Development, Grenada, Opinion Editorial, August 31, 2015
Grenlec supports collaborative participation in geothermal development for Grenada
by Robert Blenker, Grenlec Director
Grenlec commends the Government for pursuing the feasibility of geothermal as a renewable energy resource for Grenada. We are encouraged that the Government is continuing the work started together with Grenlec more than six years ago. And, we welcome the opportunity to reengage with Government in the process of developing geothermal and more renewable energy projects in Grenada, now and in the future.
Recently, the governments of Grenada and New Zealand released the preliminary results of a geothermal exploration study conducted as part of the Geothermal Support Partnership Framework for the potential development of geothermal energy in Grenada.
The findings of the Jacobs New Zealand study are consistent with the results of the 2009 geothermal study conducted by Grenlec to assess the potential for geothermal development in Grenada. Both reports indicate the presence of geothermal systems, especially in the Mt. St. Catherine area, that warrant continued feasibility studies to determine if the sites are a cost-effective source of energy.
In 2009, we presented Grenlec’s findings to the Government and worked collaboratively as part of a Geothermal Steering Committee chaired by the current Permanent Secretary of Finance, Planning, Economic Development, Trade, and Energy. Together, we created a work plan for project development and procurement, as well as draft legislation to support geothermal energy.
Our objective is to be a part of the renewable energy development process with Government. Grenlec can offer the knowledge gained from previous and current efforts in Grenada, as well as successful renewable projects in other countries. We want to save valuable time and money, and ensure that resources are invested in a manner that will assure the greatest benefit to consumers. Together, we can pursue next steps for cost-effective deployment of geothermal and other renewable energy technologies efficiently.
Our website, http://www.grenlec.com/energise, provides the executive summary of Grenlec’s initial 2009 study. This information can provide additional background and be a good starting point to address previous technical issues.
Diversifying our energy portfolio and restructuring the energy sector is an evolving process, not only in Grenada, but worldwide. Important incremental steps are taken daily at Grenlec and by the Government to bring more renewable energy online, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and stabilise energy costs for economic growth and a sustainable future.
We believe that the greatest progress will be achieved when we all work together, capitalizing on Grenlec’s decades of successful and efficient development, management and operation of generation facilities.
The National Energy Policy of Grenada and Grenlec’s Renewable Energy Strategic Plan are closely aligned with a shared goal of at least 20% renewable energy by 2020. By working together with the Government and other stakeholders collaboratively, we can accomplish this goal and much more for the benefit of Grenada. We sincerely desire to collaborate with Government to fully explore geothermal and other renewable energy resources in our nation’s journey for a sound, sustainable energy future.