Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 05, 2016 (SKNIS): A regional forum on geothermal energy, in partnership with the Caricom Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission and GIZ (The German Agency for International Cooperation) will be hosted by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort from May 10-12, 2016, with the purpose of creating a framework for a regional strategy.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Posts, Urban Development and Transport, Brenda Boncamper, said in light of the chronic energy crisis which has impacted economic growth in several CARICOM countries, the search for alternative sources of energy has resulted in different stages of development of geothermal energy in Guadeloupe, Montserrat, Grenada, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis and the Grenadines.

“Despite such development, a number of significant gaps coupled with multiple challenges continue to inhibit geothermal development within the region. As a consequence, a regional strategy capable of enhancing the ability of these countries to accelerate the pace of geothermal development is being pursued,” Boncamper said.

The first activity towards the development of this strategy was collaboration among the World Bank, GIZ, the CARICOM Secretariat and the OECS Commission in the hosting of a Caribbean Round Table at the GEOLAC in Nicaragua on October 19, 2015. The regional forum in St. Kitts is expected to build on the successes of the Caribbean Round Table.

The initiative is being supported by GIZ through the Regional Council of Guadeloupe, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance (REETA), as well as, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), through the Technical Cooperation on Sustainable Energy Deployment in the Caribbean.

The regional forum is expected to be attended by high level officials from government agencies, representatives of multilateral institutions, international development partners and international financing institutions, as well as private sector developers and investors.

St. Kitts and Nevis is one of the leaders of the development of geothermal energy in the Eastern Caribbean.

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