SAINT LUCIANS will know soon whether introducing renewable energy to the country is likely as government prepares for exploratory drilling for geothermal energy.
“We are very advanced with our geothermal development,” said Valerie Leon, acting Permanent Secretary in the Department of Sustainable Development. “We have conducted all the geothermal studies that will give us information (and) are looking at the pre-feasibility study.”
Leon said an Environmental Impact Assessment will be done and will be factored into the second phase.
“We are completing the geothermal development studies. Once we do that, we are looking at early next year so that we can begin the exploration drilling phase,” she said, adding that Government is seeking grant funding to do exploration drilling for geothermal energy.
She said: “The process is well advanced. We should be getting US$22 million to do the exploration drilling phase.”
Once that phase is completed, Slim Hole Drilling will be undertaken to indicate the quality of the resource, she said.
Slim Hole Drilling is a drilling technique used to develop a slim hole well. A slim hole well is a type of gas or oil well whose borehole size is significantly smaller than the usual borehole size.
“It will tell us whether to go ahead into full production or whether we should just call it a day,” Leon said.
The search for renewable energy in St. Lucia is part of government’s recognition of the importance of the move by Member States of the United Nations to adopt a plan for achieving a better future for all. That plan is all about laying out a path to end extreme poverty, to fight inequality and injustice and protect the planet.
The plan was rolled out in September 2015 with a life span of 15 years and was officially known as “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. Contained within it are 17 global goals or what is more popularly known as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which the United Nations says clearly define the world people want and which apply to all the 196-member states of the United Nations.
Correct me if I am wrong. In the early 1980’s the UWP under the stewardship of Sir John Melvin Compton embarked on a geothermal exploration at the Sulpher Springs, Soufriere. After the exploration was complete, it was revealed that the steam pressure from the sites was insufficient to effectuate any meaningful development. The plan was abandoned and never to be heard again. What has changed since then? Are we going to explore again to arrive at the same negative results? Has the volcanic pressure increased exponentially since the 1980’s? Did the results of the boring/well satisfy the standards? If not, why are we drilling again? Why is the government pioneering a program that should be under the jurisdiction of the energy company? Since when is the government in the energy exploration business? Could someone please answer my questions.