Develompent of the hydroMinds-Tool
In 2009, while being engaged in a project in the Caribbean, geoMinds learnt about the situation of renewable energies in the Caribbean Region. For locating suitable sites for hydropower, long-term hydrometrical data is required as well as a detailed knowledge about the topography. Data for both issues was only available insufficiently.

Keeping in mind the possibilities that remote sensing and GIS data analysis offer, we had the vision to help improve the situation by developing a new GIS-model especially designed for the application in the Caribbean. The results of the analysis were meant to help governments, policy-makers, investors and utilities to focus their time and investment on promising sites - improving the situation and bringing forward the idea of an affordable, sustainable and independent green energy supply to the people in the region.

In close relationship with several local governments, the Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme (CRDEP) and the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI), we developed a new approach based on remote sensing data and started screening the hydroelectric power opportunities of all Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the Caribbean. Taking into account the regional climatic conditions of the Caribbean region, we also had to design a regional run-off simulation model to feed in the hydrological modeling process along with the complex GIS-Terrain Analysis.

In early 2013, the Commonwealth of Dominica became the second country now whose stream network is entirely analyzed with our hydroMinds tool and several promising, economically viable stream sections were identified. Several site visits showed that at identified locations our model was quite close to reality and that it is able to cope with limited data availability.

This makes us feel proud and also shows us that it is not always necessary to start with a square one – sometimes it just requires to re-arrange existing pieces and creatively re-think common ways. And that’s our work philosophy: solving a problem by understanding the technical background issues, giving it a new view with our interdisciplinary skills and finding creative solutions - if necessary, also by walking off the beaten track.
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