Published On: Thu, Dec 20th, 2012

New Dutch Energy Law in the Works for Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius

KRALENDIJK – On December 17, The Minister of Economic Affairs, Mr. Henk Kamp informed the Dutch Parliament in writing about his vision for ensuring a reliable and affordable electricity supply on the BES (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba) islands. He did this at the request of the Dutch Parliament, who in late January submitted a request for information to his predecessor.

It’s the aim of the Department of Economic Affairs to have a new law in force by early 2014. The current Electricity Concessions Law will be repealed as it offers too little leeway to authorities currently held accountable for an affordable and reliable energy generation and distribution. This is especially necessary onBonaire where the Water and Electricity Company (WEB) has not been able to provide the level of quality required.

This was concluded by an audit carried out at the behest of the Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation. The audit, which was carried out by auditors of the Dutch Government made clear that WEB is almost bankrupt and requires immediate attention to remedy the situation. The report also concluded that:

  • On all three islands the present situation is unsatisfactory when viewed from the perspective of  reliability, affordability and sustainability;
  • Present laws do not provide the necessary authority to neither local nor national governments to deal with the issues effectively;
  • It is not to be expected that the local electricity companies will be able to ensure the delivery of energy at a socially acceptable price level without substantial assistance from the National Dutch government

The local governments of Saba and Sint Eustatius have already coopereted with experts of the Dutch ministry to develop a plan for installing wind turbines. The required wind measurements are expected to start shortly. The investment required is to be funded by the Dutch Government.

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