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Geothermal project in Grenada

Mt St Catherine – regarded as the highest point in the Isle of Spice

The Department of Energy in Grenada, which is housed in the Ministry of Infrastructure Development continues to explore the possibility of Geo-thermal energy in Grenada.

This is despite the knowledge that solar energy has been proven to be cheaper than geothermal and can be developed in a way which is much less intrusive to the environment, e.g. on roofs of public buildings and private homes which feed into the national grid.

According to the scoping report, on geothermal, published in 2019, the two sites pinpointed for this development are Tricolar, in Mt Reuil, St Patrick, in the foothills of Mt. St Catherine and Florida/Pleasance, up behind Gouyave in St John, again fairly close to Mt. St Catherine.

The scoping report was commissioned by the Government of Grenada and paid for by the Governments of New Zealand and Japan. This scoping report included a pre-feasibility assessment, environmental and social preliminary scoping exercise, and a preliminary drilling plan which was produced in 2016.

Friends of the Earth Grenada is once again extremely concerned about the apparent lack of transparency and accountability which surrounds this development. Where is the conversation that needs to happen nationally when a project of this kind is being proposed? Why do the vast majority of our people have no knowledge that this might be happening?

Friends of the Earth – Grenada was invited, along with other CSO members, to a couple of consultations several years ago, where the members voiced their opposition to such a development, particularly with regard to the destruction of the eco-system in proposed sites, four were being considered at the time.

The CSO members present urged the development personnel in the meeting to adhere to the Precautionary Principle which is a policy and strategy to cope with possible risks when the scientific understanding is not yet complete. Some consultations were conducted after the scoping report was presented but these were limited to a certain number of people and conducted in places and times which were not really conducive for the people targeted.

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In a recent meeting with staff members of the Geothermal project, Friends of the Earth were assured that before the next phase of the project was undertaken, another ESIA would have been completed and national consultations would be implemented in relation to the latest report as the previous once conducted was related to the pre-feasibility assessment.

The citizens of Grenada have every right to be informed and consulted about each and every step of this development as it clearly points to the destruction of our environment, its biodiversity and its beauty.

The widening of the roads and the strengthening of the bridges through Hermitage clearly point to future plans for transportation of heavy equipment which could be the drills for exploration being hauled up through the country.

It is extremely questionable how the equipment will be carried on the Western side since the collapse of the Moliniere road, the lack of repairs to the road between Palmiste and Gouyave and the narrow roads in Gouyave itself going towards Florida.

Friends of the Earth Grenada strongly urges one and all, especially those who are interested in the patrimony of Grenadians to call for more open dialogue regarding all kinds of developments and the lack of debate concerning sustainable energy in Grenada.

Take time to talk to your Parliamentary Representative or anyone you think might have information in relation to these issues. You can also contact Friends of the Earth on [email protected] should you want a copy of the scoping report re geothermal or any other information.

The above reflects the views of Friends of the Earth-Grenada