BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, December 19, 2023 (SKNIS) – The Honourable Konris Maynard, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Utilities and Energy, is of the firm belief that the successful transition to the use of green energy is the single most important nexus in the Federation’s pursuit of becoming a sustainable island state.
Green energy transition is one of the seven key pillars upon which the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis’ Sustainable Island State Agenda is based. The other six pillars are food security, economic diversification, sustainable industries, the creative economy, COVID-19 recovery, and social protection.
“If we solve energy, we solve water. If we solve water, we solve food. Again, if we solve energy, we solve industries, and if we solve industries, we solve salaries. So [energy] is an important nexus that is critical to the development of our sustainable island state with energy as the centre pin,” said Minister Maynard while lending his support to the Appropriation (2024) Bill, 2023, on Monday, December 18.
The minister said the challenge now is to reduce the country’s significant dependence on fossil fuels. A task, he said, the Dr. Terrance Drew-led Administration is committed to, particularly as St. Kitts and Nevis, being a small island developing state, is disproportionately affected by the effects of climatic changes caused by the emissions from the production of energy using fossil fuels.
“Although our contributions to climate change are negligible, St. Kitts and Nevis is poised to lead the way to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. For us, it is not only about protecting the environment but importantly it is about being able to afford to live in the environment that we still have and to still live sustainably,” the energy minister said.
This effort will be led by the establishment of the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery energy storage project in the Caribbean, as well as the joint geothermal energy project being pursued on the island of Nevis.
Minister Maynard indicated that the geothermal potential on Nevis could deliver up to one (1) gigawatt of power. At peak hours, St. Kitts requires 28 megawatts of power while Nevis requires 9 megawatts of peak power for a combined total of 37 megawatts of peak power in the Federation.
“It takes one thousand megawatts to make one gigawatt, therefore, if the geothermal reserve in Nevis is in excess of one gigawatt or in excess of one thousand megawatts, by us only needing 37 megawatts for our power needs then we only need 3.7 percent of the geothermal potential to power the entire Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis,” Minister Maynard explained, while stating that “energy is our gold.”