- Target: Cover all electricity demand by 100% renewable sources by 2020.
- Status: In progress - To date, 15.4% electricity generation is from renewable energy.
- RES: 30-MW wind park, and waste-to-energy project generating electricity through biogas.
- Implementation: The Caribbean island of Aruba in the Caribbean is an autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands located off the coast of Venezuela. Aruba's economy is based largely on tourism with nearly 1.5 million visitors per year, which has contributed to Aruba’s high population density with about 500 people per square kilometre (more than New York). In response, the Government of Aruba realised that the island’s economic development must shift in order to maintain and preserve the country's infrastructure and natural resources. In 2009, Aruba launched the islands first wind park. In 2011, the Government published its economic vision and policy plan with the title “The Green Gateway”. It includes plans to promote renewable energy on the island in order to secure and preserve its valuable but fragile natural resources. During the Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012, the island announced it aim to cover its electricity demand by 100% renewable sources by 2020. In the same year, Aruba together with other Caribbean islands became member of the Carbon War Room’s Ten Island Challenge, an initiative launched at the Rio +20 Conference aiming for islands to shift towards 100% renewable energy. The benefits of becoming 100% renewable for Aruba include: reducing its heavy dependency on fossil fuel, thus making it less vulnerable to global oil price fluctuations, drastically reducing CO2 emissions, and preserving its natural environment.
- Population: 104,822 (2016)
- Area: 178.91 km2 (69.08 sq mi)
- Link: http://www.utilitiesarubanv.com/main/wp-content/uploads/pdf/green-deck-aruba.pdf
Tag: — Latin America
Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands
- Target: 100% of renewable energy in the electrical system.
- Status: In progress
- RES: Hybrid wind-diesel power plant
- Implementation: The Caribbean island of Bonaire is located 80km north of the Venezuelan coast. Its energy transition began in 2004 after the island’s sole diesel power plant was destroyed by a fire. Instead of re-building it, the government decided to convert Bonaire’s electricity system to one based on 100% renewable energy sources. The decision was driven by several aspects. Bonaire has close ties to Europe (being a special municipality of The Netherlands) where the share of renewable sources of electricity has been increasingly expanding. Financial support for the transition would come from Dutch Rabobank. The complete destruction of the old electric system presented an opportunity to build something new and innovative. So, while rented diesel generators served as a temporary power supply, the Bonaire government and the local utility closely collaborated in the planning of the energy transition. In 2007, the consortium “EcoPower Bonaire BV” signed the contract with the government-owned Water and Energy Company Bonaire (WEB) to construct a new green energy system, including wind power and biodiesel from algae. In August 2010, the world’s largest hybrid wind-diesel power plant went online. 12 wind turbines with a total wind power capacity of 11MW constituted the first element of Bonaire’s new power generation system. The wind turbines only contributes around 33% to the annual required electricity demand, but at times of peak wind the turbines can cover about 90% of the demand. A 6MWh battery storage for surplus electricity makes the overall system more reliable as it is capable of balancing power fluctuations in times of low wind. When the wind drops the battery provides 3MW for two minutes, which allows enough time to start the 14MW diesel power plant. The diesel generators run with heavy fuel oil, light fuel oil and biodiesel. The next step for Bonaire is the large-scale production of biodiesel from algae, which is currently under development. Besides decreasing the reliance on fuel imports and the impacts of fuel price volatility, the economic benefit of Bonaire’s renewable energy system is expected to return US$15 million annually, from a total investment of $55-60 million, which will be partly compensated by carbon credits.
- Population: 18,905 (2015)
- Area: 294 km2 (114 sq mi)
- Link: https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2015/01/a-caribbean-island-says-goodbye-diesel-and-hello-100-percent-renewable-electricity.html
Las Gaviotas, Colombia
- Target: 100% renewable energy
- Status: Achieved
- RES: Solar panels, wind turbines and a water pump.
- Implementation: In 1971, Paolo Lugari, a development specialist, brought together a group of scientists, artists, and former street kids to see if they could create a sustainable village in the middle of the uninhabited eastern plains of Llanos Colombia. This region at the time was so remote and so poor in soil quality, untouched even by the country's political upheavals. Lugari wanted to prove that his ecological village model would be possible anywhere. The group set out through experiments and innovations, to create Las Gaviatos: a thriving ecosystem and eco-village of 200 people. The village since then has resisted drug wars and violence. Today, there are no guns, no police force, no cars, no mayor, no church, no priest, no cellphones, no television, no Internet. However, Gaviotas has created a range of innovations intended to make human life feasible in one of the most challenging ecosystems. It sources its energy from a variety of renewable energy installations, including solar panels and wind turbines. It has created a solar kettle for sterilising water, a solar kitchen, and a water pump powered by children on a seesaw. The community also grows their own food and have seen a return of wildlife that had not inhabited the area for many generations. In the 1990s, the villagers began exporting resin sourced from pine trees. Part of a 19,800-acre reforestation project, the resin is used for biofuel The trees have also provided a vital canopy for native plant species to flourish under.
- Population: 200 inhabitants
- Area: 8,000 hectares (first phase reforestation)
- Link: (In Spanish) http://www.centrolasgaviotas.org/Inicio.html
- In Spanish
- Target: Generate 35% of the country’s energy from renewables by 2020.
- Status: In progress
- RES: Geothermal, wind and solar power.
- Implementation: Saint Lucia is a Sovereign Island and former French and British colony located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. It gained independence in 1979. The country’s economy is based on tourism and the export of bananas. Its energy consumption depends on imported fossil fuels, particularly diesel. Facing the effects of fluctuating energy prices and the impacts of climate change, the Saint Lucia Government recognizes the economic and moral imperative to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and plans over the next 10 years to switch much of its electricity from diesel to renewables. The government aims to reduce the costs for electricity and the demand of diesel imports, while simplifying opportunities for its citizens to generate their own electricity. In 2016, the government carried out the installation of solar PV panels on the roofs of the National Mental Wellness Centre (NMWC) and the headquarters of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO). In 2017, the first utility scale renewable project was constructed on the island: a 3MW solar plant by the airport funded by the utility company LUCELEC. In 2013, Saint Lucia had joined the Carbon War Room’s Ten Island Challenge at the Caribbean Conservation Summit, which aims to help islands across the Caribbean to transition to 100% renewable electricity generation.
- Population: 178,015 (2016)
- Area: 617 km2 (238 sq mi)
- Link: https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy15osti/62688.pdf
Sint Eustatius, Caribbean Netherlands
- Target: Reduce fossil fuel usage and establish a grid stabilizing energy supply based on renewable energies.
- Status: Achieved - Produces 4.1 MW of energy, covering 45% of the islands annual energy share.
- RES: Combination of a 2 MWp PV farm and diesel generators, largest lithium battery storage system in the Caribbean, latest energy technology products, and monitoring platform.
- Implementation: The project was built by Eco Energy in collaboration with SMA and Schlepper. In 2016, 1.89 MWp of solar power and central storage batteries were first installed. The project began operations in March 2016. In the second expansion stage, the project partners doubled the solar output to 4.15 MW and increased the battery capacity to 5,900 kWh. The key component is the battery inverter with grid-forming characteristics which allows the diesel generators to be shut down fully automatically without affecting the stability of the frequency in the utility grid. A fuel save controller is responsible for real-time energy and power management and synchronizes diesel and battery operation. The system compensates for the PV array’s power fluctuations caused by fast-moving clouds in this region. This allows for the diesel generators to be switched off completely during the day. The system has withstood hurricanes Irma and Maria (September 2017). The EU has since earmarked 2.2 million euros to enhance the resilience of the electrical grid by placing around 10km of MHV cables underground. In 2017 the local government began working with a French energy company to explore geothermal energy production on the island.
- Population: 3,193 (Jan 2016)
- Area: 21 km² (8 sq mi)
- Link: https://www.sma-sunny.com/en/flagship-project-in-the-caribbean-pv-hybrid-system-on-the-island-of-st-eustatius/