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By CS Global Partners
The Commonwealth of Dominica's new geothermal plant is expected to be built in 2022. The project is part of the Caribbean island's goal to become the world's first climate-resilient country. It aims to reduce electricity costs for consumers and supply energy to its neighbouring French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique.
The plant, which is partly funded by the country's Citizenship by Investment Programme
, is expected to generate approximately 120 megawatts of electricity when finished. Dominica's Ambassador to the United States of America (USA) and Organisation of American States (OAS), Dr Vince Henderson, stated that Dominica is at an advanced stage of the geothermal plant's execution and on the horizon of an exciting national opportunity.
"What we have actually sent is probably USD 5 million from local funds from the inflows of the CBI [citizenship by investment] to finance the geothermal project," Dr Henderson said. He added that the rest of the funds would come from international partners and lenders. "It is really the only way that Dominica can transition in a very efficient way from diesel generation to renewable energy," the Ambassador explained.
Investors have contributed over $1.2 billion in Dominica's Citizenship by Investment Programme over the 2017-2020 fiscal years. Proceeds from the programme are used to construct earthquake-resistant houses and infrastructures like hospitals and schools. "The word resiliency is thrown around a lot, […] but it does not mean anything. In Dominica, there is actually a structure and a plan behind it. Resiliency has been incorporated into a broader government strategy," said James Ellsmoor, founder of the Virtual Island Summit, an annual online event that convenes small islands.
Since the large-scale natural disaster Dominica faced in 2017, climate resilience is held as a matter of high importance. By 2030, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit's government plans to meet the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals to improve Dominica's living standard further.
Dominica has been offering its Citizenship by Investment Programme since 1993, making it one of the oldest citizenship programmes around. Investors may qualify for citizenship through a contribution to the government fund
or investment in real estate
. After a multi-tiered vetting process, successful applicants receive full rights to live and work in the country with visa-free access to 75 per cent of the globe. Investing in Dominica is not only a rewarding decision for the investor but also a noble one.