The Saba delegation had a very positive meeting with Dutch Minister for Climate and Energy Rob Jetten on Thursday, March 31.
Discussed were Saba’s ambitions to generate electricity in a completely renewable way through solar and wind energy. The Public Entity Saba, the Saba Electric Company (SEC) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK) have developed joint plans for renewable energy.
Saba already has solar parks next to the Juancho Yrausquin Airport which generate about 40 percent of the electricity per 24 hours. One mid-sized wind turbine of 4.2MW with battery storage would suffice to go from 40% to more than 90% renewable energy. During days with wind and sun, Saba would generate 100% of its electricity in a sustainable manner.
During Thursday’s meeting, the required investments for the project, an estimated US $11-13 million, were discussed. A substantial amount, 4.1 million euros, will come from the European Union (EU) in the form of grants towards investments in renewable energy on Saba. That leaves a sizeable gap of about 7 million euros in the financing. This gap was discussed in a meeting with the Ministry of EZK earlier this week.
“The beautiful island of Saba is taking big steps towards 100% climate neutrality. Together with the Island Government, I am working on concrete steps for even more clean energy production on Saba,” stated Minister Jetten after meeting the Saba delegation on Thursday.
Commissioner Bruce Zagers said he was encouraged by the positive development. “The Saba Government fully supports SEC’s initiatives. We strive to be an example in the Caribbean while being self-sustainable in generating electricity with a goal of 100% renewable energy,” he said.
Generating almost 100% renewable energy means that Saba will become less dependent on fossil fuel, a source of energy that is not only bad for the environment but which is also very costly and involves high transportation costs. A high percentage will ultimately also have a positive effect on mitigating high electricity prices for consumers and fits well in Saba’s image as a green destination and the promotion of nature tourism.