Roseau, Dominica: The nature isle of the Caribbean- Dominica is adamant to fulfill its aim of being the world’s first climate-resilient nation across the globe by 2030. While working on their aim, the nation is actively investing in sustainable development projects and strives to create climate-resilient housing, healthcare, sustainable education facilities, and renewable energy capabilities.
After obtaining 28 percent of its total energy requirements, the Commonwealth of Dominica is creating renewable energy sources such as hydropower and wind. The average price of electricity on the island is amongst the highest in the world, close to US $0.33/kWh and customers are exposed to the volatility of international oil prices.
The World Bank has also stepped in to support the construction of the 7MW small geothermal power plant in the Roseau Valley and approved Us$27 million project in March 2017. The project is aimed to increase the share of renewables which could diversify the country’s energy matrix and identify a clear road map for private sector investment in geothermal development.
It is a project initiated by the government of Dominica to pace up climate-resilient aims. It will use hydrothermal resources that consisted of both water (hydro) and heat (thermal).
The operations will require a high temperature of around 300°F to 700°F in hydrothermal resources. The resources will come either from dry streams or from hot water wells. These resources are further used by drilling wells into the earth and then piping srean or hot water to the surface. The hot water or steam will power a turbine that generates electricity.
A geothermal Power plant is a project which meets every requirement of resilience as it is the natural way to generate electricity that will not harm the environment. The plant will not only power Dominica with renewable sources, reducing energy costs but also work efficiently to contain the carbon emissions.
“The Geothermal Power Plant shows Dominica’s commitment toward resilience. Projects like the geothermal plant are putting the Nature Isle ahead of the world in combatting climate change while relieving the nation of its reliance on imported fossil fuels,” said Micha Rose Emmett, CEO of the world’s leading government advisory and marketing firm, CS Global Partners.
The Geothermal Risk Mitigation Project will significantly lower electricity costs in Dominica and increase the share of renewable energy in the country’s energy mix from 25 to 51%, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 38,223 tons of CO2 per year.
The Dominica Geothermal Development Company Ltd (DGDC) is implementing the project and is financed by a US $17.2 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA), US $9.95 million from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), as well as grants from the UK’s Department for International Development – US $10 million from DFID and US $2 million from the SIDS DOCK Initiative – and technical assistance from the Government of New Zealand and the Agence Française de Développement. Economic Diversification Fund proceeds from the country’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme are also providing part of the funding.
The DGDC has decided to build a binary cycle power plant, which whilst more costly than alternative geothermal plant models, is the most environmentally friendly and accordingly, the long-term benefits accrued by not causing pollution, far outweigh the additional cost.
Work on the geothermal plant is well underway, and in February 2021, the Government signed a US $12.5 million contract with an Iceland-based company to drill two wells.
Dr Vince Henderson- the Parliamentary Representative for the Grand Bay Constituency and Minister for Planning, Economic Development, Climate Resilience, Sustainable Development, and Renewable Energy of Dominica recently visited the site to observe the progress of the project and confirmed that the completion of the geothermal project is to take around 18 months, with the plant expected to be operational by the end of 2023.
The geothermal plant will have a substantial and positive impact on the island’s national advancement and the lives of its citizens. In addition to the creation of local jobs related to the construction and maintenance of the plant, the Government is hoping to use the energy generated to power 23,000 homes with clean geothermal energy, which represents approximately 90 per cent of Dominica’s entire population. It will also provide electricity to the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, which in turn will encourage foreign exchange.
Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Programme
Though small in size, Dominica is considered the best alternative citizenship to invest in, according to an independent study by the Financial Times’ PWM publication, which particularly highlighted the programme’s stringent due diligence, efficient times and affordability. After applicants pass the due diligence checks, citizenship hopefuls then choose to either invest in real estate or contribute to a government fund. The latter is known as the Economic Diversification Fund (EDF), and it sponsors public and private sectors in Dominica that need financial support or have economic potential, such as the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Project.
Each eligible person to become a citizen of Dominica adds at least USD 100,000 to the EDF. If they apply jointly as a family, which is possible under Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Programme, these contributions amount to USD 200,000 for a family of four and another USD 25,000 for any additional dependents. Ultimately, the money goes towards modernising the local infrastructure, schools, and hospitals, and even towards developing thriving industries like tourism and IT.
Successful applicants, often within three months, attain the rights that come with Dominican citizenship, like travel to over 75 per cent of the world, including key business hubs like China and increased business prospects and the ability to pass citizenship on for generations to come.
Considering the flow of foreign investment through programmes like citizenship by investment, Dominica is prepared to set long-term goals that exceed sustainability expectations on a global scale.
The government of Dominica has allocated a part of the revenue generated from the Citizenship by Investment Programme to fulfil the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, which include improving marine life, forest management, and youth and women-led grassroots movements for better land stewardship. Additionally, Citizenship by Investment funds have provided a much-needed lifeline in rebuilding, focusing on housing through Dominica’s ‘housing revolution’. The project aims to build over 5,000 hurricane-proof homes across the island for displaced families.
Accordingly, those applicants who pass the vetting process and are allowed to invest can rest assured that their contribution is channelled towards the betterment of their new home country and the lives of their fellow citizens.