Friday, January 9, 2015

Bonaire Going 100 Percent Renewable

Some very small nation states are seeing the wisdom of weaning themselves off of fossil fuel and using renewable sources of energy for their power.

One of the best examples is the tiny Caribbean state of Bonaire (pop. 14,500), a small island off the coast of Venezuela. Bonaire's reliance on fossil fuels changed in 2004 when a fire destroyed the existing diesel power plant.

The tiny island nation saw the wisdom, both economic and ecological of investing in renewables. Their new forms of energy generation have proven cost effective offering a savings of approximately 14 cents per kWh compared to neighboring islands.

Now the country is largely powered by 12 wind turbines with a total of 11 MW of wind power capacity, which contribute up to 90 percent of the island’s electricity at times of peak wind, and 40-45 percent of its annual electricity on average. Battery storage offers another 6 MWh.

To power its diesel engines the country is planning on using an algae based biodiesel to meet all of its energy requirement.

These renewable energy systems will also provide jobs and offer an important working model for other Caribbean nations and small island states all around the world.

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