Will There be Geothermal Electricity for Nevis?
In that 2009 article, it was reported that Kerry McDonald, CEO of West Indies Power (Nevis) Ltd., said “West Indies Power will now be able to start building the geothermal power plants that will supply Nevis and the other islands in the northern Caribbean with low cost, reliable, renewable, clean energy for the foreseeable future.”
They were off to a great start, but the momentum failed. In 2012, Time Magazine reported the project was stalled. By 2015, geothermal resources development for Nevis had advanced to the point that the Caribbean Development Bank was considering financial support.
Nevis plans to use its geothermal resources to generate electricity which could power air conditioning systems. Hot water could fuel cool air in resort hotels. As the IADB reported in 2013, tourism is the reliable artery that feeds the Nevis economy and hotels on the island consume a stunning amount of electricity powered mostly by oil with limited wind-generated power.
People have been tapping into geothermal energy for cooking and heating forever. Settlements near geyser fields made good sense to Stone Age ancestors. Think of geothermal as steam power sourced from Earth’s interior. The thermal energy is drawn from beneath Earth’s crust, at various distances below the surface. Jules Verne’s novel “Journey to the Center of the Earth” spins a story about traveling on the hot rivers of the surface deep into the earth’s molten rivers called magma.
Volcanic areas produce reservoirs of steam and hot water. In Iceland, steam is tapped for residential heat and hot water. Steam geysers are for visitors to enjoy in remote areas of Iceland, as at Yellowstone National Park in the USA and the Valley of the Geysers north of Zhupanovo on the Pacific coast of the Kamchatka peninsula in Siberia.