Guadeloupe’s hydroelectric potential has been reliably quantified. A number of rivers offer potential for the development of hydroelectric power generation. The Guiding Plan for Development and Management of Water Resources (schémas directeurs d’aménagement et de gestion des eaux, SDAGE-2009) describes a potential of 33 MW for possible production of 98 GWh.
This source of energy is concentrated in Basse-Terre, but boundaries of the National Park of Guadeloupe and challenging terrain limit development.
Principal Constraints on Development of Hydropower in Guadeloupe
The development of hydropower in Guadeloupe is subject to numerous constraints, mainly of a regulatory nature. Although hydropower is itself a clean source of energy, the installaions that it requires are subject to environmental regulations that can hamper the use of existing potential.
The development of small plants is notably constrained by the location of the resources, which fall within the boundaries of the National Park of Guadeloupe. Because the national park stretches across most of Basse-Terre, power plants may only be sited on its perimeter.
Additionally, high costs associated with land clearing and with grid connection are also constraints to the development of hydropower in Guadeloupe.
Therefore, SDAGE anticipates that given these significant constraints, 25 MW of hydroelectricity can be generated under ideal conditions, for possible production of 75 GWh.
Growth Potential of Hydropower in Guadeloupe
Given current technology and the regulatory environment, future development of hydropower in Guadeloupe is limited to upgrades of existing facilities. Available hydropower resources have been utilized.
Therefore, although the PPE would encourage proposals for optimizing existing production capacities or developing new ones, in the absence of a specific project, the PPE is focused on strengthening measures to manage energy demand and develop other renewable sources of energy.
The PPE does not anticipate any additional hydropower installations in Guadeloupe before 2023.