The Caribbean region is a succession of volcanic islands, favourable conditions for the development of geothermal electricity production. Previous INTERREG projects have highlighted the potential for geothermal energy to become, in the medium term, a significant component in the regional electricity mix (up to 30%, perhaps more, according to estimations) and hence help certain islands to achieve energy autonomy.
These islands are regions that are fundamentally restricted by their insularity and/or mountainous relief. They boast a very rich biodiversity that must be preserved, and tourism is a major economic driving force for most of them. To allow geothermal energy, or any other industrial project, to emerge in such conditions requires that, as far upstream as possible, the project is properly introduced into the environment and into society. Especially as international funding sources for this type of project increasingly demand that these criteria be taken into account.
Methodologies such as Environmental Management Systems (EMS) offer a way of meeting these environmental and societal demands.
The handbook will cover every phase of a typical geothermal electricity production project (preliminary studies, exploratory drilling, operations and dismantling) as well as the various stages of its environmental and societal assessment (from the physical impacts on natural habitats to the monitoring, from an environmental stance, of the geothermal plants under operation, by way of discussions with local populations well ahead of the project launch and throughout the project’s duration). In particular, it will deal with Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and their use in the geothermal energy context.
It will also serve as a reference for the sustainability criteria (both environmental and societal) that international funders expect to be met before backing a project.
It will be designed like a veritable project management and fulfilment tool for geothermal electricity production solutions - of high quality and low impact - that are integrated into their human and natural environment (first and foremost in the case of islands and/or tropical habitats).
The handbook is intended for stakeholders in geothermal electricity production projects, including developers, state departments, contracting authorities, local and regional authorities, associations, consulting engineers, financial bodies, etc.
The handbook is not by any means intended for the general public, nor as a scientific or technical handbook. Because these players have different levels of technical expertise in geothermal energy, the purpose of the document will be two-fold: to serve as a methodological guide, and to act as a clear and informative communication aid that will provide all concerned stakeholders with the knowledge, they need to be able to contribute to the project’s integration into the environment and into society.
The work will be carried out in 2 phases:
Phase 1. Preliminary studies on the technical content
- Drafting of the guide’s detailed structure
- Choice of topics for the 20 technical fact sheets
Phase 2. Writing of the technical content
- Writing of the handbook;
- Writing of the fact sheets;
- Writing of a 4-page brochure to promote the handbook (for the benefit of geothermal project stakeholders), with a focus on its content and pedagogical quality
Phase 3. Finalisation of deliverables