The government is making 33.6 million euros available for an accelerated switch to sustainable electricity in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. This means that within 3 years, an average of about 80 percent of the electricity on the three islands will be generated with wind and solar energy. This results in lower prices, less dependence on oil, for example, and significantly less nitrogen emissions.
Solar and wind energy
On Bonaire, electricity producer Contour Global and policy participation Bonaire Fuel Terminals (BBT), supported with a subsidy of BAT, invest in a solar farm and a wind farm. There will also be a battery to store and use electricity at times when the wind is less. These investments will be completed in 2024/2025 and then 80 percent of the electricity on the island will be generated from sustainable sources. This also leads to a lower energy bill for Bonaireans.
Two solar meadows have previously been built on Saba. Saba is investigating the possibility of building a combination of an extra solar farm and wind farm. The goal is to generate 100 percent of the electricity sustainably on an average day within 2 years. Saba Electric then only has to use the fossil generators if there is insufficient sun and wind.
On St. Eustatius, Statia Utility Company is expanding its solar farm and battery storage. This will enable around 60 percent of the electricity to be generated sustainably by 2024. The next expansion step will work towards 80% renewable electricity.
The government will continue to work with Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius to further increase sustainability and limit the negative consequences of climate change (climate adaptation).
Minister Rob Jetten for Climate and Energy: “I am very pleased that together with the island governments of Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius and the electricity companies, we can take this important step towards sustainable electricity production. With this, we ensure a significant decrease in CO2 emissions, the Caribbean Netherlands becomes less dependent on fossil fuels and therefore less vulnerable to high energy prices as we currently see them. This makes the Caribbean Netherlands a showcase for making other small islands in the region more sustainable.”
Alexandra van Huffelen of Kingdom Relations also sees this as an important step forward for the Caribbean Netherlands. “This helps the people on the islands because their energy supply remains reliable and their bills affordable. And that without or with much less emissions. I am very pleased that the government is
making this possible.”