Prime Minister Harris Calls for a More Proactive Approach to Renewable Energy Development

Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 15, 2015 (SKNIS): The effects of climate change continue to have a serious impact on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) said Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, as he made a plea for a more practical approach to the development of the energy sector, during the 2016 Budget Address on Tuesday, December 15.

“More specifically, we must accelerate the pace of integrating renewable energy sources and securing sustainable supplies of water within our Federation,” he said, while adding that his Government evaluated the progress made with regards to renewable energy. “We are still some distance away from creating the energy self-sufficiency needed to make a notable reduction in our dependence on fossil fuel consumption and the high cost of electricity.”

Dr. Harris noted that after careful consideration, the Government made a decision to expand the exploration of geothermal energy to include St. Kitts, and explained that this will not retard the development on Nevis, but more so, complement and expand the overall renewable energy resources of the twin-island Federation.

In addition to geothermal energy, Prime Minister Harris noted that the Government also made a decision to step up the pace of expanding the renewable energy sector by moving forward with the development of wind energy exploration in St. Kitts.

“Significant changes have been made to ensure that there is room for competition in the market,” he said. “These changes were necessary as we are a Government that believes that there should be a level playing field allowing for a fair share to all desiring to participate in the wind energy business.”

He reported that the negotiations are in the final stages and work is expected to commence in 2016.

In an effort to bring additional relief to energy consumers in St. Kitts and Nevis, the Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Teranov, a French engineering and services company in Guadeloupe, on September 04, 2015. Minister of Energy, the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, hailed the signing as a successful milestone and noted that it was a clear indication of the Government’s commitment to further develop renewable energy sources on the island.

At present, an exploration team is in St. Kitts, and by March 2016, they will be able to determine if there is a geothermal resource on the island.

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