Bonaire, a Caribbean island grappling with distinctive energy challenges stemming from its geography, population growth, and socio-economic disparities, has exhibited notable progress in transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Despite heavily relying on non-renewable energy, Bonaire is committed to enhancing sustainability. This proposal introduces Technical Assistance for an action plan that builds upon the Sustainable Energy Roadmap. The objective is to elevate the proportion of renewables in Bonaire's energy portfolio, ensuring clean, reliable, and affordable energy for its burgeoning population of 22,000 residents by 2030. Renowned as a 'Blue Destination' for its natural beauty and marine biodiversity, Bonaire, a Dutch Caribbean public entity, faces the frontline challenges of climate change, further motivating the pursuit of a robust Sustainable Energy Action Plan.
With a primary economic reliance on tourism, Bonaire is a diverse cultural hub situated at the crossroads of languages and traditions. The island's vulnerability to climate change, compounded by its unique geography and natural ecosystems, underscores the urgency of sustainable energy solutions. The Action Plan centres around three key goals: achieving 80% clean energy in the electricity system by 2030, ensuring reliability for industries, communities, and desalination processes, and addressing energy poverty to make energy more affordable across the island. Presently, Bonaire's electricity grid operates autonomously, with 30% of its energy derived from renewable sources. The forthcoming decommissioning of the Morotin offshore wind farm by 2025 has catalysed collaborative efforts with stakeholders such as WEB, CGB, and BBT to devise an electrical system roadmap. This strategic shift involves integrating solar and wind energy with battery storage, with the recent installation of a 6 MW battery power facility at CGB.
In the pursuit of sustainable energy, Bonaire's roadmap anticipates overcoming challenges through a diversified approach. The solar park and battery storage infrastructure, bolstered by the already operational 6 MW battery power at CGB, aim to mitigate energy production fluctuations, particularly during periods of low wind output. As of May 2023, all planned solar panels and batteries have been successfully installed, marking a significant step toward achieving Bonaire's ambitious clean energy targets.