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Fri 10th Aug 2018

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Referendum needed on dangerous geothermal project in SVG

Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA, Leader of SVG Green Party, is making a very strong call for:
(a) A referendum about the proposal to install a geothermal plant in SVG, as research has shown that the geothermal project will kill our high-quality drinking water. Let the people decide on the proposal to install a geothermal plant in SVG by referendum, and,
(b) Legislation to abolish the VINLEC 1973 monopoly to sell electricity in SVG and to open up the SVG electricity industry to Vincentian-owned companies to produce electricity from renewable energy only to sell electricity to the Vincentian public.

SVG must become a progressive nation and move away from the old political dogma that is choking the SVG economy to death and boost the SVG economy by allowing small, Vincentian-owned companies to produce electricity - from renewable energy only - to sell to the Vincentian public.

The SVG economy must be driven by inventiveness and good engineering ideas, not driven by foolish monopolies from the Colonial period.

SVG is not the private estate of the ULP regime. The geothermal project is very bad for SVG as it will kill our high-quality drinking water. Having a referendum will give the people the power to decide whether this dangerous geothermal project should be installed in SVG. This will be very good for the democracy of our country.

The ULP regime should not be given the freedom to destroy our country.

In order to produce renewable energy in SVG, solar, hydro and wind are much safer than geothermal. The high-quality drinking water in SVG will be safe if we use solar, hydro and wind.

In order to help the growth of Vincentian companies producing electricity from renewable energy and private households wanting to install renewable energy equipment at their homes, all taxes and customs duties on renewable energy products and parts should be abolished immediately.

It is crucial that VINLEC's electricity monopoly as the only company with the right to sell electricity in SVG, is urgently abolished and that new companies producing electricity in SVG are 100% Vincentian owned. This way, money made by these companies goes to Vincentians and it is Vincentians who prosper. The money then gets spent in SVG and this strengthens our economy.

SVG is losing millions of dollars a year, because of the massive amount of oil that is imported to create electricity. This is killing our economy. If we stop producing electricity from oil and produce it ourselves in SVG from safe renewable energy – as opposed to geothermal - then there will be much more money circulating in the SVG economy. The renewable energy industry will create employment.

Low-cost renewable energy will be a catalyst for the growth in small businesses. This will create mass employment. Many small businesses in SVG have closed down, because of a lack of sales and high overheads such as Vinlec's high electricity prices.

The argument for cheap, reliable and safe electricity in SVG delivered by geothermal is extremely weak and cannot override the serious environmental damage the geothermal plant will cause to our high-quality drinking water.

Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA calls for:
(a) A referendum about the proposal to install geothermal in SVG and
(b) The abolition of the VINLEC 1973 monopoly to sell electricity in SVG.

Give the people the power to decide. Let democracy be the yardstick of progress in SVG.

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