The Daily Herald reveals that researching the potential of geothermic energy in Saba, which would especially benefit St. Maarten consumers, is currently not a priority of Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp.
Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk stated this in his response to the agreement list that was made at the end of the Inter Parliamentary Consultation of the Kingdom IPKO in The Hague in June this year. The minister’s response to the Second and First Chamber of the Dutch Parliament was published Monday.
The delegations at the IPKO had asked the Dutch government to research the possibilities of making use of geothermic energy on Saba. Minister Kamp has taken note of IPKO’s request, but for the time being, this isn’t considered a priority as there are more practical possibilities such as solar and wind energy, stated Plasterk.
“Saba’s energy company has been privatised on January 1, 2014, and is currently making a loss of 1.5 million euros per year because electricity has to be generated with expensive kerosene. That situation can be swiftly ended by investing now in options that will book fast results, such as solar and wind energy,” stated Plasterk.
Minister Kamp has pledged to subsidise the 2014 deficit and make “considerable” investments in solar and wind energy as options of sustainable energy. This is expected to result in profitable company operations in 2016.
“The development of geothermic energy requires much more time while the benefits would mostly be in favour of St. Maarten. Besides, this would mean that Saba’s energy company would have to operate at a loss for a much longer time for which there are no provisions,” stated Plasterk.
Minister Kamp did promise that he was willing to consult with St. Maarten to look at the potential of Saba geothermic energy, but only when the Saba operations are satisfactory in 2016.