OECS Geothermal Workshop Empowers Geothermal Energy Decision-Makers

PR — The Geothermal Energy Decision Makers Workshop held in Colombia from November 30 to December 1, 2023, marked a pivotal moment in advancing geothermal projects within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The workshop, organised as part of the GEOBUILD Programme, focused on enhancing the technical capacity of governments and key stakeholders, setting the stage for accelerated geothermal energy action.

The workshop gave decision-makers a robust agenda covering geothermal basics, challenges, case studies, and collaborative activities. Facilitators, including Alastair Brookes from the Government of New Zealand, and Lance Peters from the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, offered diverse expertise in geothermal development. Chaired by Ernie Stapleton, the OECS GEOBUILD Project Manager, the workshop aimed to equip senior-level officials with the necessary knowledge and tools for effective decision-making.

The objectives, ranging from highlighting decision-making issues to examining key consultancies under GEOBUILD, were met with notable achievements. Decision-making tools were developed, and participants gained insights into government roles, financial partnerships, and project structures. Collaborative group work fostered a better understanding of OECS Member States’ needs and the role of key consultancies.

This workshop sets the stage for implementing decision-making tools in geothermal projects, continued collaboration among OECS Member States, and the application of lessons learned in future initiatives. The emphasis on a comprehensive capacity-building plan and collaboration with regional institutions emerged as critical steps for successful geothermal development.

Several key lessons learned from geothermal energy exploration initiatives in Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines underscored the importance of regular policy reviews, early capacity building, anticipating infrastructure needs, efficient land acquisition, and robust environmental protection laws. The need for transparency, holistic development approaches, and engagement with regional institutions was emphasised.

The Geothermal Energy Decision Makers Workshop represents a significant milestone in advancing sustainable and renewable energy solutions in the OECS. Decision-makers are now armed with the knowledge and tools to steer geothermal projects towards successful implementation. As the OECS continues its journey towards a greener energy future, collaboration, transparency, and strategic decision-making will remain key drivers.