Unlike most countries in the world, Curaçao generates about 34 percent of the current electricity production through wind and solar energy. In the Netherlands, that is merely 6 percent. Engineer Richenel Bulbaai from Curaçao defended his dissertation on this subject on 11 October 2019 at the University of Twente. His findings indicate that Curaçao can live entirely from renewable energy in 2033. Moreover, the annual CO2 emissions can be reduced by about 92 percent.
Curaçao distinguishes itself from the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) with regard to the use of renewable energy sources. Since the 1980s, Curaçao has been gaining experience in applying wind and solar energy. Curaçao also distinguishes itself from the world with regard to the application of wind and solar energy. In addition, the focus is also on the use of biogas, energy storage and energy savings.
Bulbaai conducted an extensive research in Curaçao. He analyzed the energy use of almost 400 households, more than 300 offices, 22 hotels, and 9 supermarkets. Many offices were already taking energy-efficient measures, mostly to save on costs. But of the 22 hotels, only sixty percent had energy-efficient air conditioning. The energy loss as a result of the standby consumption in the households on Curaçao was recorded. Besides different technical options to reduce standby consumption, Bulbaai recommends introducing an import regulation to stimulate the purchase of appliances with a low standby consumption on Curaçao.
To make Curaçao fully sustainable in 2033, the production of solar and wind energy is of great importance, as is proper energy storage. Wind turbines and solar panels play an important role in this. If traditional power generators are still necessary, then the use of biogas is a more sustainable choice.
The findings on Curaçao are also interesting for the other islands. Curaçao has a head start which other countries could learn from.
The defense of the dissertation takes place on Friday 11 October at 10:45 in the De Waaier building on the campus of the University of Twente. The defense will be preceded by an explanation on the dissertation. This starts at 10:30.
The dissertation: TOWARD 100% SUSTAINABLE ENERGY PRODUCTION AND A STRUCTURAL DECREASE IN ENERGY DEMAND: CURAÇAO, AS A CASE STUDY OF SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES is available on request via the following contact person.