Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 15, 2016 (SKNIS): Renewable energy continues to be the focus of the Government of National Unity as it maintains its efforts to ensure that renewable energy plays a critical role in the sustainable development and economic growth of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

In his 2017 Budget Address on December 09, Minister of Energy, Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, said that in terms of the island’s energy equity, the government believes that every citizen should have access to energy irrespective of his/her status within the community.

He said that the ministry has just finalised a proposal for the introduction of a lifeline tariff that will address society’s most vulnerable and guarantee their access to affordable energy.

“The ministry dedicated to pioneering and demonstrating a new model of growth known as green growth,” said the minister. “This vision will guide and inspire the commitments of the ministry to a resilient future for St. Kitts and Nevis where growth is envisaged in the area of renewable energy and energy efficiency to be strong and sustainable.”

The minister added that it is critically important at this juncture to position the federation to attract all the benefits and advantages that are economically important by exploring green pathways coupled with profitable projects.

“This emerging sector is in alignment with our National Strategic Plan 2010-2025, which has been amended since coming into office,” said the minister. “However, we envisaged St. Kitts and Nevis becoming a green economy by increasing its renewable energy supply.”

Minister Liburd said that in terms of wind energy development, “our legal department has not delivered its opinion on the Power Plus Agreement. We have gone thus far to receive the technical advice and it is time we move forward in that particular area of wind energy.”

He said that in the area of geothermal energy, the government has made positive strides in respect to its development in St. Kitts.

“I am happy to report that an independent assessment of the geothermal source prospects on St. Kitts was completed by Geothermal Resource Group Inc. (GRG), a global leader in geothermal resource exploration, development and resource assessment,” said Minister Liburd. “This resource assessment, which was conducted in accordance with the geothermal reporting code AEGA 2010 has found that the Brimstone Hill prospect represents an inferred geothermal resource with an estimated generation potential of 18 to 37 megawatts based on the results of geologic, geochemical and geophysical exploration results conducted and documented by Teranov.”

The energy minister said that the GRG assessment has also provided recommendations for improving the interpretation of existing data sets. GRG has further stated that “with its additional work, we think that the confidence in the assessment can be greatly improved. Subsequently, exploratory boreholes will be required to measure temperature, pressure and other resource parameters to more firmly establish the potential of this commercial resource.”