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Gov’t’s Plan For Geothermal Energy Draws Concerns

antigua-and-barbuda-flagThe government of Antigua & Barbuda’s newly announced intentions to pursue geothermal energy in Antigua has caught the attention of a prominent regional environmentalist, who is urging the public to push for consultation before embracing the technology.

According to the former attorney general of Dominica, Bernard Wiltshire, going geothermal can run the risk of taking production of energy out of the public’s control.

“It is extremely expensive, and its puts your electricity firmly in the hands of foreign multinational companies. There are other forms of renewable energy that we can use that put the power directly in the hands of the people,” he said.

Wiltshire, who described himself as a member of Dominica’s “environmental movement” ventured a guess that “Antigua & Barbuda does not have the money to develop geothermal” and surmised that “it has to be developed by multinationals companies.”

On Thursday, Prime Minister Gaston Browne signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a Texas-based group, Thermal Energy Partners. “This project will see the investment of about US $55 million or in the region of EC $150 million,” he said.

“This is important from the standpoint of having a predictable cost of energy and to ensure that we are not subject to the volatility in the movement of oil prices, and to be in a position where we can fix energy prices for sectors including tourism and manufacturing,” Browne added.

On the MOU, the signature beside that of the prime minister’s was that of the President of Thermal Energy Partners, Daniel Pfeffer. He told the media, “[The funding] is not coming from the government of Antigua & Barbuda; we will bring the financing for the entire project including the exploration.”

At the same time, Browne said the government was working on “innovative” strategies to come up with the US $50 million themselves in order to fund the project if they choose to or if it becomes necessary.



Category/ies:Antigua & Barbuda News, Antigua & Barbuda Policies, Plans and Legislations, Dominica News, Geothermal Tech, News, Renewable Energy.
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