Edition 2022

Foto omschrijving: Evening street scene on St Eustatius.

How much electricity in the Caribbean Netherlands is renewable?

In 2021, 24 percent of total electricity production in the Caribbean Netherlands came from renewable sources. Most of the renewable electricity comes from wind turbines, followed by solar panels. Especially on St Eustatius and Saba, solar power generation has increased in recent years.

Hoeveel elektriciteit in Caribisch Nederland komt uithernieuwbare bronnen?How much electricity in the Caribbean Netherlands is renewable?Saba36%Bonaire22%32%St Eustatius

The total electricity production of the three islands of the Caribbean Netherlands combined was 156.2 million kWh in 2021, of which 24 percent (37.7 million kWh) came from renewable sources. The figure in 2012 was 29 percent (32.5 million kWh). In 2018, electricity production from renewable sources peaked at 33 percent.

European Netherlands’ total electricity production was 121.6 billion kWh; of this, 40.2 billion kWh came from renewable sources, equivalent to 33 percent of total electricity production. From 2020, the share of renewable electricity in the European Netherlands is higher than that in the Caribbean Netherlands. This higher share is partly due to the fact that the power from solar panels on homes and businesses are not counted in the Caribbean Netherlands, while they are counted in the European Netherlands.

Electricity production from renewable sources (%)
Jaartal Caribbean Netherlands European Netherlands
2012 28.6 12.2
2013 31.6 12.0
2014 34.3 11.3
2015 31.6 12.4
2016 28.5 12.8
2017 25.8 14.9
2018 33.1 16.5
2019 28.4 18.8
2020 22.7 26.7
2021 24.1 33.0

Bonaire mostly depends on wind energy

Electricity production on Bonaire amounted to 130.6 million kWh in 2021, of which 29.2 million kWh (22 percent) was generated from renewable sources. Wind turbines had generated almost all renewable electricity (99 percent). The remaining percent was produced by solar panels. In 2014, Bonaire had the highest share of renewable electricity, when it stood at 42 percent. In subsequent years, this was about 30 percent.

Electricity production on Bonaire (million kWh)
Jaartal Fossil Renewable
2012 58.6 32.5
2013 56.9 36.7
2014 56.1 41.2
2015 63.4 40.1
2016 73.3 35.1
2017 81.9 31.5
2018 76.0 37.1
2019 88.1 32.5
2020 95.7 25.4
2021 101.5 29.2

More solar power on St Eustatius

Electricity production on St Eustatius amounted to 16.3 million kWh in 2021. Of this amount, 5.2 million kWh came from renewable sources, equivalent to 32 percent. In 2018, the share of renewable electricity peaked at 45 percent. The drop in 2020 and 2021 was linked to plant maintenance. This electricity was mainly produced from solar panels. The generation of solar power started in 2016 with the first phase of the installation of a solar park. In November 2017, the second phase was completed, greatly increasing solar energy output on the island.

During the day, the solar farm on St Eustatius meets the island’s entire electricity needs. In the evening and at night, and in adverse conditions such as cloudy weather, the system automatically switches to diesel generators which then take over production.

Electricity production on St Eustatius (million kWh)
Jaartal Fossil Renewable
2012 13.7 0.0
2013 13.5 0.0
2014 13.4 0.0
2015 13.9 0.0
2016 11.6 2.3
2017 10.2 3.8
2018 7.8 6.5
2019 8.7 6.3
2020 10.4 4.8
2021 11.1 5.2

Solar parks on Saba

Electricity production on Saba amounted to 9.2 million kWh in 2021, of which 3.3 million kWh came from renewable sources. This represents 36 percent of the total production. Saba now boasts two solar parks. The first solar park became operational in February 2018 followed by a second solar park the next year, as of February 2019.

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Hendrik Zuidhoek

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