Bluerise sees sustainable energy future for Saba

POSTED: 03/13/16 7:21 PM

DELFT – In the future Saba will generate all energy in a sustainable way and in the process it will also produce drinking water. That is what the Delft-based company Bluerise wants. Yesterday the company spoke with the committee for kingdom relations in parliament.

Bluerise works with thermal energy. “It uses the difference in temperature between warm water on the surface and cold deep-sea water. With that difference in temperature it is possible to generate electricity,” says Bluerise co-founder and managing director Remi Blokker.

Geographically, Saba is in an ideal location. Blokker: “You could provide energy many times over for that island. They will be able to export their electricity.”

The temperature of the pumped-up sea water is 11 degrees after the energy process; this makes it suitable as drinking water. The condensation process for the production of drinking water is more energy-efficient than the current desalination processes. Saba would never be short of water again.

The Dutch parliament is interested. “A couple of months ago the VVD contacted us about our project in Curacao,” says Bluerise CEO Paul Dinnissen. “We did that and then they asked whether this would not be suitable for Saba. We made a quick scan and now we are going to explain to the parliament the opportunities we see.”

Not everyone is familiar with thermal energy, Dinnissen knows. “We want to promote this technology in the parliament. This form of energy is not available in the Netherlands, but in the Caribbean it is. The first impressions are good. However, to be able to say with certainty whether this form of sustainable energy is suitable for Saba, we first have to look at the demand, which parties play a role and first and foremost, what the island considers important. It has to be right financially, but it also has to fit with the wishes the people in Saba have.”

A pilot study could provide more clarity. The costs of such a study depend heavily on the scope of the research. The starting point is several tens of thousands of euros. Dinnissen: “Whether that pilot study will materialize, depends on the governments that are involved.”

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