German wave power start-up eyes Dutch ABC islands

SINN Power has presented the potential of its wave energy technology for providing clean and renewable power to three Dutch islands in the Caribbean Sea as part of government-backed energy export initiative.

Illustration/Earlier version of SINN Power's wave power collector (Photo: SINN Power)

Invited to a business trip by the German-Dutch Foreign Trade Chamber, SINN Power joined the delegation of German renewable energy and energy efficiency developers to showcase its product to three islands looking to replace the use of fossil fuels for energy supply with clean energy options.

High-profile politicians, energy providers, project developers and local companies from Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao islands, the three western-most islands of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean Sea known as the ABC islands, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, showed great interest in SINN Power and its technology, the company said.

SINN Power is developing wave power plant technology, said to be applicable on coasts worldwide, generates electricity from ocean waves. The company is currently testing its technology in real sea conditions on the Greek island of Crete, with plans to expand the project in 2019 with additional wave power-collecting modules.

Currently, the power supply on the ABC islands is very costly and subject to large fluctuations, with the energy demand mainly covered by fossil fuels proven to be harmful to the environment, according to SINN Power.

Prime Minister of Aruba Evelyn Wever-Croes (second on the left) with SINN Power’s representatives (Photo: SINN Power)

“The strong swell and rough conditions do not attract any beach tourists, but is an ideal condition for wave power plants,” said Philipp Sinn, Founder and CEO of SINN Power.

According to the company, both in Aruba and Curacao efforts have been ramping up efforts to steadily increase energy demand through the implementation of renewable energy.

Alexandra Sierra, Head of Sales Advisory at the German-Dutch Chamber of Commerce, said: “So far, the energy needs of the ABC islands have been met mainly by fossil fuels, which had to be imported almost 100%.

“This dependency on the world market and the oil price has immensely increased the costs of providing energy on the islands. For many islanders this means spending a quarter of their salary on energy costs in everyday life.”

In particular, the island of Aruba has ambitious energy goals, according to the island’s Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes, who said: “Aruba wants to promote the implementation and the use of renewable energies. Our aim is to become independent of fossil fuels in the future. In 2020, 50% of the energy supply should come from sustainable energy sources.”

The German startup, funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), has in summer 2018 generated and fed the electricity from ocean waves into the grid on the island of Crete, joining the small number of companies in the world which managed to do the same.