Dominica: The Green Energy Initiative
The Commonwealth of Dominica has emerged from the third quarter of 2016 as one of the world’s most attractive jurisdictions for investment in innovative enterprise, having committed itself to an era of green energy development and eco-friendly infrastructure, as well as sound legislature to promote investment in the private sector.
A report issued in May 2016 by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) revealed that Dominica is the CARICOM member that generates the highest portion of its energy from renewable sources. To date, 28 percent of the electricity on our island is drawn from green production, and our goal is to become fully independent of non-renewable energy by 2020. Hydropower and wind turbines are key to our commitment to green energy, and geothermal exploration is at an all-time high. EC$46.3 million has been reserved for the construction of a seven-megawatt geothermal plant on our island, to be built with technical assistance from the Government of New Zealand. This initiative, due to be completed in 2018, will both reduce our energy expenditure and solidify our position as an exporter of energy in the region, particularly to our neighbours Guadeloupe and Martinique.
Advancements in our renewable energy offering have been accompanied by the growth of a new eco-economy. As the ‘Nature Island of the Caribbean,’ our Commonwealth values the role of the environment in the everyday lives of its people and, in respecting nature, has for many years been the port of call for eco-tourists. Today, as awareness and concern for the environment expands to all echelons of society, Dominica is also establishing itself in the luxury eco-tourism industry. The real estate developments approved under our Citizenship by Investment Programme – each a magnificent project rooted in the principles of conservation and eco-friendliness – stand as core examples of Dominica’s robust entry into the market, and of the investment opportunities available in this budding sector.
Our private sector is also flourishing – with services, manufacturing, and agriculture playing a determining role, especially with respect to organic produce and agro-processing. The Government has enacted a number of fiscal measures to support investment in these sectors, ranging from loan schemes with grace periods to the increase of VAT thresholds. The Government will also soon be implementing even more incentives, such as tax holidays for hoteliers expanding or renovating their establishments.
Our Commonwealth is forward-looking, ready to seize the opportunities of today and tomorrow. The investment we have seen in Dominica today is an indicator of the confidence markets have in our growth. The investment we will see in our island tomorrow will see both the entrepreneur and the nation prosper for years to come.
The Honourable Ian Douglas
Minister of Trade, Energy and Employment
Commonwealth of Dominica