Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp’s decision to hold off on researching the potential of geothermic energy on Saba for now has resulted in written questions by the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament. Second Chamber Members Roelof van Laar of the Labour Party PvdA and André Bosman of the liberal democratic VVD party sought clarity from Minister Kamp and Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk on Wednesday on the possibilities of sustainable energy on Saba and, by extension, St. Maarten.
Amigoe and The Daily Herald newspapers published an article on Tuesday in which it was stated that Minister Kamp did not consider it a priority to research further the potential of geothermic energy on Saba, an energy source that especially would benefit St. Maarten consumers. There are more practical possibilities such as solar and wind energy that would not take as long to develop, explained Minister Plasterk in a letter to the Second and First Chambers on behalf of his colleague Kamp. Geothermic energy would return to the agenda only when Saba’s newly-established energy company is no longer making a loss.
Van Laar and Bosman urged the two ministers to look seriously at investments in sustainable energy in the Dutch Caribbean as this was important due to the high energy prices on the islands and long-term effect of sustainability, which can result in more prosperity for the people. The Members of Parliament (MPs) asked whether the minister’s decision not to research the potential of geothermic energy had been discussed with Saba’s Executive Council, and the governments of the neighbouring islands St. Maarten and St. Eustatius. “If so, what was their reaction? And if not, why are you not willing to do so?”
Van Laar and Bosman asked the ministers whether they were willing to still research the feasibility of geothermic energy together with Saba, Statia and St. Maarten, and possibly other neighbouring islands. The MPs used St. Maarten’s ambitious green energy strategy as an example to point out that the Dutch government should implement a similar strategy in the area of sustainable energy for the Caribbean Netherlands, in cooperation with the local governments.