BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — The board of directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved the use of US$325,500 by CDB for the benefit of the government of St Kitts and Nevis to identify environmental and social impacts in the design of a geothermal energy (GE) exploratory test-drilling project.
The resources, made available through the Canadian Support to the Energy Sector in the Caribbean (CSES-C) Fund, will also assist with the development of a framework to manage project implementation sustainably.
The environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) will support decision-makers in determining how to proceed with project development. The findings will inform:
- selection of the best location for exploratory test wells;
- project considerations to reduce negative impacts on environmental resources; and
- approaches for taking into account social dimensions such as poverty, gender, employment and livelihoods.
Tessa Williams-Robertson, head of the Renewable Energy/ Energy Efficiency Unit, CDB noted, “St Kitts and Nevis, like the majority of CDB borrowing member countries is seeking to reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuel, and improve national energy security and competitiveness by increasing the deployment of sustainable energy options. Of the renewable energy options, it is believed that GE holds the greatest prospect for transforming St Kitts and Nevis’ energy matrix, directly displacing diesel fuel-based generation.”
“The findings of the ESIA will provide the government of St Kitts and Nevis with critical, evidence-based environmental and social baseline data and impact analysis, to inform decisions required for the exploratory test-drilling phase of GE development,” Williams-Robertson added.
The intervention is consistent with the bank’s strategic objective of supporting inclusive growth and sustainable development within its borrowing member countries. It also aligns with CDB’s corporate priorities of strengthening and modernising economic and social infrastructure and promoting environmental sustainability.
It is also consistent with the bank’s energy sector policy and strategy, and climate resilience strategy, as well as St Kitts and Nevis national energy policy (2015) and the Caribbean Community energy policy (2013).
The CSES-C Fund was established in 2016 to provide technical assistance over a four-year period. Grant resources of CA$5 million, provided by the government of Canada to CDB, supports public and private actors in the energy sector in the bank’s borrowing member countries.