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Towards 100% sustainable energy on the Caribbean island of Saba webinar resources


In this webinar, we looked at the technical, political and economic aspects of Saba’s decision to transform the island to 100% sustainable energy and eliminate dependence on fossil-fuel-generated electricity.

Mr. Nicolas Ferellec of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) of the European Union shared an overview of their current efforts to increase renewable energy deployment in the 22 island nations that are constitutionally linked to the four EU Member States (The Netherlands, Denmark, France and the United Kingdom). Then, Dr. Sergio Ugarte of SQ Consult discussed the technical, political and economic aspects of Saba’s decision to transform the island to 100% sustainable energy. The last portion of the webinar was a moderated discussion hosted by Kevin De Cuba that included an open Q&A.

Many small islands share fundamental development challenges – including an over-dependency on food and fuel imports, insecurity of energy supply, and economic integration with neighboring islands. In general, these islands are striving to modernize their infrastructure and “island metabolism” from history as a colony.

With the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles in 2010, the Caribbean island of Saba became a “public entity” of the Netherlands—a general denomination for administrative divisions within the Dutch state including municipalities and provinces. Saba is still part of the Netherlands itself but preserves its autonomy, with exception of certain areas such as defense, foreign affairs and social security.

One of the early key decisions taken by Saba to redirect the economy onto a sustainable path, was to significantly improve their energy supply; namely its security, quality, affordability and resilience. Currently Saba’s entire electric supply depends on one 4 MW diesel generator built near sea level — requiring 6% of GDP for fuel imports, on top of an annual subsidy from the Dutch Government equivalent to US$750 per capita.

Download the report on which this webinar was based: Towards 100% sustainable energy on the Caribbean island of Saba.

 

Image credit: Asian Development Bank