Premier Romeo briefs EU-OCT meeting on potential of geothermal energy

The Hon. Premier of Montserrat, Donaldson Romeo made a presentation this morning (Friday 27th February 2015) on geothermal energy at the conference of the European Commission and EU Overseas Countries and Territories being held in Tortola British Virgin Islands.

Mr Romeo was at the time taking part in a round table event captioned ” Regional Cooperation: Unlocking the Potential of OCTs”.

It was part of the 13th Overseas Countries and Territories – European Union Forum, which ends today.

The other members of the round table were: Anguilla, Bonaire, New Caledonia, Sint Maarten, and Saba.
The session was chaired by the Hon. Premier of the BVI, Dr.Orlando Smith.

Montserrat’s presentation focused on the exploitation of geothermal energy.

Premier Romeo’s presentation

Premier of Montserrat, Donaldson Romeo

Commissioner for Development, representatives of Member States, Heads of Delegation, ladies and gentlemen, I wish, on behalf of the Montserrat team to pay special tribute and thanks to the Commission and the Government of BVI for the arrangements which have been made on our behalf. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring greetings and thanks from Montserrat the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean for your continued support.

My brothers and sisters we can no longer depend on fossil fuel for energy.
The extremely high cost of importing fossil fuel is stifling development in our territories. Every sector within our economy is impacted by the fluctuation of prices in this market.
“Turning ash into cash”. The volcano is seen to many as a negative, but we see it as an opportunity to turn ash and other distinct feature of the volcano into cash and as an opportunity for greater regional cooperation.

Geothermal and other forms of sustainable energy can greatly reduce the need to import fossil fuel to generate the energy required to sustain the lifestyle we now enjoy.
This energy can be used for domestic cooking, for transportation, or for any other purpose that we currently use fuel in other forms in our daily lives. Wherever electricity can be easily substituted, we must see it as an opportunity.
In addition, for many of our territories, importation of fossil fuel is a significant component of our trade deficit. We need to reduce the large amount of money currently being spent on the importation of diesel fuel to the island retaining valuable foreign exchange.
Cheaper and cleaner energy will encourage the development of existing and new businesses that are heavily dependent on energy. This in turn creates new jobs, expands the amount of goods and services available on island, thus boosting the economy.

The National ICT policy for my country seeks to engage the populous to develop the skill sets which it is hope will support a vibrant environment to allow for the development and use of industries in this field that will be able to take advantage of reliable low cost energy.
Renewable energy development should be seen by all as a key resource in the future development of our territories, but it needs to be fully exploited in order to have a really vibrant and sustainable future.
It is in this regard why we have chosen Sustainable Energy for both our Territorial and Regional envelope.

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