In response to the 2016/2017 National budget presented by Finance Minister Skerrit on Tuesday, UWP Leader Lennox Linton said “We are disappointed that the budget did not contain aggressive moves toward utilization of renewable energy”.
Linton noted that although allowances were made for geothermal exploration, no other alternative sources of renewable energy were mentioned. He said “We’re hearing something now about geothermal, but we’re not hearing anything further about geothermal energy, on which we’ve already spent thousands of dollars. We’re hearing nothing about wind, and we’re not hearing anything about solar.”
In presenting the budget at the 1st Meeting of the 2nd Session of the 9th Parliament on Tuesday, Skerrit revealed a budgetary allocation of $46.3 Million for construction of a domestic geothermal plant, through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), over a 2-year period. Skerrit stated that the cost will be met from local and grant resources. “We will establish a company wholly owned by the Government, to build a 7-megawatt geothermal plant in two stages; 3.5-megawatt each”.
Skerrit announced that the long-awaited Geothermal Development Bill, which will establish the legal framework for the development of geothermal energy in Dominica, will be submitted to Parliament at its first sitting after the Budget. The DLP Government has spent over $80-million exploring geothermal potential.
However, in 2012, former Energy Minister Rayburn Blackmoore said construction of the plant would begin in the first quarter of 2013.
Also in 2012, Prime Minister Skerrit told parliament that Dominica could have a geothermal power plant in operation by 2014.
In March 2015, Energy Minister Ian Douglas said a draft Geothermal Bill was nearing completion. Douglas said the construction of a small geothermal plant is to begin by 2017.
In April 2016, Prime Minister Skerrit emphasized Government’s commitment to the harnessing and development of geothermal energy in Dominica.
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