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St Kitts gets help to develop alternative forms of energy

A team of experts from the US-based Clinton Foundation Climate Initiative (CFCI) is due here later this month as the organisation seeks to help St Kitts and Nevis in developing a strategy to reduce the cost of electricity on the twin island Federation, Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas has said.


Dr Douglas, accompanied by Energy Minister Dr Earl Martin, held talks with CFCI officials and later announced that the continuing high cost of imported oil for electricity generation was not sustainable for the country’s socio-economic development.


“We are dependent upon the importation of petroleum products, diesel in particular, from which we generate electricity; the fuel that we consume to generate electricity is diesel. Diesel is imported from overseas. It has been having a very unstable climb in the price. The price keeps going up and up with very few opportunities for it to come down and the more the price of the diesel goes up, the more therefore it costs us to generate electricity and thus the fuel charge on your electricity bill will be higher. It means then that you have to pay more money for the use of electricity,” Prime Minister Douglas said.


He said his administration cannot continue with the high price of electricity warning it would create “serious problems” for the country.


“We therefore have decided to use other forms of energy as I said in the opening statement, we have wind, we have solar — the sun — and we have geothermal which is embodied within the body of the earth and so we are finding ways of using those energy sources to generate electricity and thus bring our dependence on diesel down and thus the cost of electricity down,” he said.


Prime Minister Douglas said that the talks with the CFCI also included the development of renewable and alternative forms of energy and in that regard it was agreed that a team would visit.


“They are going to send a team of experts who is going to sit with us. They are going to look at where we have reached so far in removing ourselves from the dependence of fossil-based energy or diesel energy; they are going to look at how much the Taiwanese have done so far in assisting us in the creation of a solar energy farm and their promised assistance with another two megawatt plant down there at the agro tourism project.”


Prime Minister Douglas said that the team would also be looking at the prospects for wind energy “that we have been working on for some time with the North Star Company. They are going to look at how we dispose of our waste and maybe how we might be able to work closely on a new project to convert waste into energy or electricity and then they would allow us with their support to find the necessary investors who will be joining with the Government in joint ventures,” said Douglas.


He said the Clinton Group will also provide technical support to the Nevis Island Administration with regards to the geothermal energy project on that island that has been ongoing for several years, but which seems to have been stalled.


“They will also look at the potential of the island of St Kitts to also generate geothermal energy and thus revolutionise our dependence on fossil fuel energy in St Kitts and Nevis and bring us into a new realm, where they will be green energy, cheaper energy, sustainable energy and this will impact on the cost of generating electricity and the consumers then, will pay less for their electricity use,” Dr Douglas said.


“We expect the Clinton Foundation will work with us to impact positively on the lives of the people of St Kitts and Nevis by bringing cheaper energy sources and thus cheaper electricity for the consumers of St Kitts and Nevis, of course it is going to mean upfront investment, but nevertheless at the end of it, it is going to lead to cheaper electricity costs for our people,” he added.



Category/ies:News, St Kitts and Nevis News.
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