Minister Lake pleased with accomplishments on Energy Policy and NV GEBE as 100% wholly owned by Sint Maarten

Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake said on Thursday that three out of several accomplishments as Minister is the completion of a national Energy Policy for the country, the completion of the process of making NV GEBE 100 per cent wholly owned by country Sint Maarten, and the signing between NV GEBE and Government of a Street Light Management Agreement.
“One of my first task as Minister of Energy Affairs was working to make sure that country Sint Maarten would become 100 per cent shareholder of NV GEBE. This was very essential for the future development of alternative energy of the country.
“The other area very important and that I focused on was the completion of a National Energy Policy for the country. My vision is to have the country become the main leader in using alternative energy sources to meet our energy needs as a county well into the 21st century.
“When we talk about bringing relief across the board for the people, you needed a plan in order to ensure that the future stability and operational aspects of the company are not negatively impacted. NV GEBE was able to implement a relief program for our seniors and that is currently on-going. The company has studied about bringing relief across the board for residential and business consumers and I look forward to seeing this implemented in October.
“NV GEBE also signed an agreement with the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) to look into alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, and Liquefied Petroleum Gas. Again, you have to plan properly and do your back to basics research in order to ensure that your limited resources are invested wisely to the benefit of the people of the country.
“As a country we also need to look at incentives for residential and business consumers where they make investments in using alternative energy sources. As a country, we have to look at lowering our foot print on the environment.
“We have heard about climate change, and the international call to do something, and the route embarked upon will have a positive impact and benefit for the people of our country and for generations to come. Another important area that I would like to see NV GEBE tackle is sewage. We need to get this moving forward and I am confident in the board, management and staff of NV GEBE to get the job done,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Thursday.
Minister Lake added that he commends the authorities of Saba and St. Eustatius for their role played where NV GEBE became 100 per cent wholly owned by Sint Maarten.
“Our sister islands of Saba and St. Eustatius have established their own utility companies. I’ve read in the media the discussion about Sint Maarten’s National Energy Policy and where some Dutch Members of Parliament are saying that Caribbean Netherlands should follow the Sint Maarten example of having an energy policy.
“I believe the three islands should continue to work together and energy is one area. The geothermal potential should be carefully studied as it would benefit all three islands and perhaps the other neighboring islands as well such as Anguilla, St. Barths, and the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis. We are all in the same boat facing the same energy challenges, and we need to work together.
“I would like to see the cooperation between the three separate utility companies continue where alternative energy sources are concerned, because in the end it is the people who will benefit as well as the environment,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake pointed out on Thursday.