St. Maarten’s future depends on renewable energy

POSTED: 03/13/13 12:15 PM

St. Maarten – Local resident Carl Duinkerk runs the Mango Green Energy (MGE) Project that currently operates out of the Sunfed building on Back Street. He has devoted his life savings and has lost a lot of immovable property in his pursuit of renewable energy throughout the island. He is convinced that St. Maarten would more benefit from the renewable energy systems that MGE offers that other alternatives that are more costly and are limited.

“We want to get our local government and people aware of sustainable development through the integration of present municipal services to lower the cost of energy production that creates multiply products spin-off with multiple revenue streams. We run a new technology company that can help transfer technology to the Caribbean and Latin America. To understand the principles of sustainable renewable energy, one must first understand the life cycle of products and how it all relate to nature and the effect each process has on the environment. This is why we must have patience with our communities because it will take them time to understand how it all comes together,” Duinkerk told Today.

Last week the group made a public presentation to stakeholders in the drafting of the national development strategy. MGE has made similar presentations at energy events throughout the world. But the group, that comprises people from several non-governmental organizations, is still hoping that every citizen catches on to the concept of renewable energy.
“This cannot take forever, that is why we are pushing hard to get the government at least looking in the right direction. We were finally invited to participate in the Building a Nation Project last week, to be able to have an opportunity to give an input for the Development Plan: St. Maarten National Development Plan. We just attended the first work shop and we found out that the whole concept is already being influenced by the Netherlands based on their instruction that will keep us at third world level as long as we never try to make changes ourselves to become a self- sustainable Island,” Duinkerk added.

Via a public relations campaign and information sessions, MGE will soon make available its entire strategy for significantly cutting energy costs.
“We have to start building our nation to suit our own needs. If other people make the plans we will never get there. We had to open the eyes of the general public to let them know if we are building we can build now to get equality in the same kingdom and stop the none -inclusive policies that the Netherlands always tries to maintain to have extra leverage.”
He explained that the strategy is based on the United Nation concept of sustainable energy for all.
“We have many marine clients but the locals are lagging behind in adapting to new changes”, Duinkerk explained.
The group is presently in negotiations with Obna, the development bank of the former Netherlands Antilles.
He added that the biggest challenge the group currently faces is that “most people still believe that conventional fossil fuel generated energy is cheaper that renewable energy.”
Duinkerk said that he has charts to prove that the tipping point has already passed and renewable energy was the better deal even before this point was crossed.
On the group’s Facebook Green EnergyCarl, information on how people can save energy and money can also been found. MGE can also be contacted telephone number 5234252 or email carl.duinkerk@mangogreenenergy.com.

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