A Sustainable Energy Transition Case Study on Aruba

Abstract

This research identifies opportunities to accelerate the SET towards a 100% RE based on Aruba. This thesis is structured in three parts: 1) a literature review to assess the main relevant theories. 2) A conceptual framework combining the Strategic Niche Management and the Multi-level Perspective is developed to analyse and compare case studies of RE technologies (Solar PV Rooftops, Electric Vehicle and Wind Turbines), including the external factors enabling or constraining this SET. 3) Finally, a roadmap is provided to accelerate the SET on the island of Aruba. Data collection is through literature review, desk research and semi-structured interviews with stakeholders in the actors’ group (government, market and society).

The main research question: What is constraining the SET on the island of Aruba, and how can this be accelerated?
To accelerate the SET: at the regime level, the government should introduce an independent entity and an energy policy where the network-related is aligned to support the targets and expectations. At the niche level, utility managers should implement energy storage and intelligent infrastructure to reduce the dependency on fossil fuels and enable demand-side management to create more room for RE penetration. At the landscape level, raising awareness, organise town hall meetings with pilot projects and demonstrations is necessary for society. Due to the limited space and land on the island, environmental impact assessments are required to mitigate the impact during the development process and avoid social resistance.
The education system should be upgraded to create new experiences, knowledge and information for local society. Hence, introducing a technical university is required but generally to change the teaching practice locally. The government’s responsibility is to stimulate more research, create more RE demonstrations, and create funds.
The research conducted by the universities, local and international, could ultimately improve regulatory measures. Utility and RE companies’ managers should consider that new business models will be necessary to survive in the new RE business environment. Other RET should also be explored, primarily because the current RET outcomes are unknown. The SET can be accelerated towards a 100% RE-based island by adopting these measures.

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