Geothermal energy is key to achieving Guadeloupe's goal of energy self-sufficiency by 2030 in accordance with the French Energy Transition & Green Growth Act (TECV), as set out in the Guadeloupe Energy Roadmap. Boosted by an apparently strong existing potential, the activity has been developing for several years now on several other islands of Caribbean region, notably with projects for new energy plants in Dominica and Nevis, and new exploratory studies about to be launched on Saint-Vincent, the Grenadines ad Martinique.
At Caribbean level, Bouillante in Guadeloupe boasts the only geothermal energy plant currently in operation and the sector's growth in the region is expected to continue and even accelerate. Since th creation of "Géothermie Bouillante" plant, Guadeloupe has acquired solid expertise in geothermal energy. The organisation and visibility of the industry in the Caribbean and elsewhere has therefore been a priority for the Regional Council of Guadeloupe for several years now.
In the aim of capitalizing on this expertise, an initiative to create a Caribbean Centre of Excellence on Geothermal Energy (CCEG) was launched in the scope of an INTERREG 4 « Geothermal Energy in the Caribbean » project led by the Regional Council of Guadeloupe. The work carried out under the INTERREG 5 programme has resulted in the implementation of the Energy Transition in the Caribbean (ETC) project, in which one of the work packages includes the official creation of a Caribbean Centre of Excellence on Geothermal Energy. Based in Guadeloupe, the Centre of Excellence's activity aims to influence the entire Caribbean region, particularly those neighbouring countries that contribute to the project.
Beyond the creation of the Centre of Excellence, this work package aims, starting at the Bouillante site, and in a logic of replicability across the Caribbean, to develop innovative methods of exploring geothermal solutions in a volcanic-island environment. Among other items, this includes the development of new electromagnetic imaging techniques. The aim is to develop techniques based on active electromagnetic sources (Controlled-Source EM-CSEM) alongside inductive electromagnetic measurements (helicoptered or ground-based Time-Domain EM – MT) in order to obtain a 3D image of the electrical conductivity of deep aquifers. These methods will also be adapted for use in the marine environment in order to reduce the twilight zones that arise from proximity to the sea.
The different activities relating to the regional development of geothermal resources are :
- Setting up of the Caribbean Centre of Excellence on Geothermal Energy in Guadeloupe.
- Study of the content and feasibility of a training programme and the methods for setting this up, via the Caribbean Centre of Excellence on Geothermal Energy established in Guadeloupe.
- Design and production of a methodological guide to the introduction of geothermal electricity production projects into the environment and into society.
- Preliminary study on the development of non-electricity producing geothermal energy in the Lesser Antilles.
- Roll-out of a training programme, specifically intended to upskill OECS policy makers, in relation to geothermal solutions.
- Definition and roll-out of a « Regional geothermal development Mechanism »