ARUBA’S GRID POLICY BY ARUBA ELMAR NV
Up until 2012, the Aruban people only knew about power coming from the utility companies. Convincing them they could switch to their own power supply and at the same time sell the surplus to NV Elmar has not been easy. They were a little reluctant and hesitant. We are now close to 1 MW installed capacity of solar and we expect this to increase, although cost is still a barrier to residential solar.
At Green Aruba (GA) III, director of NV Elmar, the local electricity distribution company, launched its new grid policy during his presentation. The company introduced the possibility for residential properties to produce 10kWp for an approximate monthly production of 1,500kWp to sell the surplus back to the company. For commercial properties, the production of 100kWp for an approximate monthly production of 15,000kWp is encouraged through the newly introduced grid policy.
PROMOTING ELECTRIC DRIVING
In 2011, as an additional incentive to promote sustainable growth towards the 2020 Vision, the Government of Aruba introduced tariff reductions on import of electric cars from 40% to 2% to include parts. Moreover, the Government of Aruba also reduced the import tariffs for Hybrid vehicles to 12%. Lastly, the government cut road taxes for electric vehicles and hybrids to US $42.86 and US $85.71, respectively.
In 2014 Aruba introduced the 1st Fast Charging Station Level 3 in the Caribbean
- 38% TARIF REDUCTION ON ELECTIC CARS
- 2% IMPORT TARIFFON THE FOLLOWING
- INVERTER ELECTRONICS WITH ENERGY STAR LABEL
- WHITE GOODS WITH ENERGY STAR LABEL
- COMPACT FLUORESCENT LIGHTBULBS
- SOLAR POWERED WATER HEATERS
- SOLAR PANELS
- LED LIGHTS
Energy Efficient Products
Additional incentives supporting the 2020 Vision are the tariff reductions on the import of all green products in the broadest sense, from solar panels and windmills to biodegradable cleaning agents, and from inverter air-conditioning units to LED lights.
Multifunctional Public Service Offices
The Government of Aruba is building five multifunctional accommodations to centralize its services to its citizens and ultimately to create more cohesion in the community. Each of these new locations will be fitted with solar panels and the public gardens will be maintained using the recycled water from the air-conditioning units. The development of these public service offices is part of a comprehensive plan to become a one-stop shop of sorts for the neighboring community offering a variety of services including payment of utility bills, general health insurance services, using the facilities of the on-site public library, enjoying the coffee shop, or practicing art in the atelier space. All locations will offer Wi-Fi hotspots open to the public.
“I want to explain to people the urgency of the situation based on my experience in space. Space is emptiness. Space is a threat to life and our earth. Everything that we value and love on earth is only protected by a very thin layer of air, which is hardly visible. When you walk outside you don’t even realize that there’s a danger above you. You have to bless the air that is protecting you. And instead we pump all sorts of junk in the air. Are we stupid? We are all astronauts of planet earth, and I want everyone to feel that in their hearts. We have to live for life. Life is so pleasurable, so beautiful. I’m going to take that road to sustainability and I think everyone should too. Less forza, more sustainability. Everyone can do it! Maybe only a little, but everyone can do it! And when you do it, you feel something called Happy Energy. And it comes from a little gene within us that tells us that humans will survive. That is Happy Energy!”
PROF. DR. WUBBO OCKELS
Aruba currently is seeing a trend in its hotels focusing on sustainability and adopting energy efficiency measures on their properties. The front-runner in this area is the innovative Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts with many certifications and awards for their best practices. However, other hotels are also breaking way, for example Divi Resorts Aruba with various properties on island as well as the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino with their rooftop solar installation and La Cabana with their employee recycling programs.
Private green initiatives
Aruba currently has four companies active in solar panel installations on Aruba, three of which are new companies that have established in the period since Aruba’s 2020 Vision was born. With the grid policy changes that took place in 2013, the market has steadily seen a healthy growth rate since.