Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis: Geothermal Energy will Boost Nevis Tourism

NextGen travel advice, from power plants to pot (Travel Weekly)

In one of the more unexpected talking points I've ever encountered from a tourism minister, Nevis' Mark Brantley wanted to meet to review the island's plans to open a geothermal energy plant in 2017.

And what exactly does this have to do with tourism?

A mile below the dormant volcano that dominates the island's profile is quite a bit of heat, and enough will be captured by the new plant to provide all of Nevis' energy needs and then some.

"We aspire to be the greenest place on Earth," he said, "and [the plant] will not only help us achieve that aspiration, it will be transformative for us and for the region."

Should all go as planned, he believes Nevis will become the first destination with a zero-carbon footprint and will export energy to St. Kitts, St. Martin, St. Bart's, Saba and Anguilla, bringing down costs (and carbon dioxide) across the region.

Not that hotel prices will necessarily come down. The top-of-the-market positioning Nevis and some of these other islands embrace isn't likely to change, Brantley said. Rather, it will be enhanced for visitors concerned about the carbon footprint of their vacation. And that market is growing. Bruce Cutright, CEO of Thermal Energy Partners, which is building the facility, said a geothermal energy plant outside Reykjavik, Iceland, already attracts 3 million tourists a year.

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