The potential and benefits of geothermal energy for the islands (incl. St. Maarten) – – News Views Reviews & Interviews

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~ The Leeward Islands Geothermal and Digital Interconnexion Hub Project and it’s benefits to Country Sint Maarten/St Martin ~

From our French-side correspondentMARIGOT — The Geothermal and Digital Interconnexion Hub Project for Leeward Islands is a project that is co-finance by the European funding agency Interreg Caraibes. As of 2022, the project is in the pre-feasibility stage with a total available budget of 2.9 million euros to be used before December 2023.

The pre-feasibility stage examines the potential for geothermal energy within the Leeward Islands and an inter-island digital network public partnership.

“Thus far, the heads of governments of Sint Maarten/St. Martin, Anguilla, St Barths, Antiqua, Saba, Sint Eustatius and the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis  have expressed their political will for the goals of this project”, said Omar Morales who is the project lead of EU Funds at the Collective of Saint Martin.

The Overseas Collective of Saint Martin and Unite Caribbean[1] are co-project leads ensuring steering committees meetings, financial reporting to the donors and other management aspects of the project, in addition, the overseas collective of Saint Martin explores the digital inter–island connection pre-feasibility as it observes studies of network and economic research, technical assistance needed and a governance road map.

Teranov is a French-based company that focuses on the development of geothermal energy in the Latin and Caribbean Region.[2] This company is responsible for the preliminary assessment of the geothermal resource in the islands of Saba, St Eustatius and St Kitts. On the other hand, EDF[3] which is based in Guadeloupe is responsible for the electrical interconnection pre-feasibility study, in particular, research in Geochemistry, Geology and Geo Physics.

“In regards to European Union trans-border funding agencies such as Interreg Caraibes; it’s vital that Governmental Institutions, Non-Profit Organizations and private entities focus on the development of a multi-disciplinary team that has the same common goal. This multi-disciplinary team is comprised of industry experts and in-country partners to research, design and implement such a regional project,” Omar Morales explained.

After, the prefeasibility stage, the project further goes into the feasibility and geothermal plant constructions and digital connection of fiber optics between the territorial partners. The financing of these stages ought to be determine. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is seen as a viable co-funding option, according to Omar Morales.

Sint Maarten’s Government and utility company has a big role to play in the redefining of the national energy landscape. The community should also be considered a key stakeholder. Geothermal energy has the distinction of having higher availability when compared to wind, solar and hydro forms of energy and can be delivered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is less vulnerable to hurricanes and high winds. It is arguably a viable option for Sint Maarten/St. Martin.

Imagine, a Sint Maarten experiencing a category 5 hurricane as IRMA again with a public partnership agreement with the Leeward Islands in providing geothermal energy; we can experience less intermittent energy or even load shedding. Through, geothermal energy we will become a more resilient country. Depending solely on fossil fuels and its unpredictable costs will only further worsen our overall quality of life.

On the other hand, there is a potential business model for geothermal energy. The tourism sector is one of the largest consumers of energy. The Government of Sint Maarten, for instance, can sell energy to the cruise ships at the dock. The plug in and pay business model provides cruise ships with other energy source from which government can receive a payment. It’s a win-win situation. There is economic growth relationship with geothermal energy as it can provide a competitive advantage for a country’s economy.

Furthermore, an inter-island partnership agreement for geothermal energy and a digital fiber optic ecosystem has the potential to bring down energy cost and internet cost as the expense can be spread across all territorial partners. “Developmental projects such as the Leeward Island Geothermal and Digital Interconnexion Hub Project can provide countries with economies of scale. Hence, it is vital to ensure that key stakeholders are fully engaged in all phases of this project as means to obtain milestones for resilience, other sources of energy and improved digital ecosystems,“ Omar Morales said.

As a country, we need to advocate for the potential of Geothermal Energy and digital inter-island connection in country Sint Maarten by questioning our members of parliament and future politicians. The cost of living is going up and we need to improve our quality of life. We cannot miss out on such an opportunity for our country. The opportunity is here and now.


[2] Accueil (

[3] Accueil EDF Guadeloupe EDF Guadeloupe


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