Published On: Thu, Aug 2nd, 2012

Parking lot on solar energy in Living Lab

ORANJESTAD — Research firm TNO Caribbean wants to test several ways to generate solar energy. For instance, experiment with a parking lot with solar cells in the road surface. In the future the generated energy could perhaps be used to charge electric cars.The aforementioned is planned for a ‘complete sustainable residential area’ on Aruba, according to the research firm in the Dutch media. Which district is still unknown. The director of the Caribbean branch of TNO, Jan Ebbing, was not available for additional information this morning. It regards the so-called ‘living lab’ of TNO on which the Amigoe reported earlier. A district that will serve as experimental field’ and run entirely on sustainable energy. The idea is that the green district clears the way for using these technologies in other districts. Apart from solar cells in the road surface of a parking lot, TNO wants to experiment in this district with generating energy from sewerage water and waste. The research firm wants to use Aruba as test case for techniques meant for the Caribbean and South American market. In the Dutch media, Ebbing stated that although Aruba doesn’t have the ideal climate to use solar panels, it could be an intermediary because the country knows the South American culture and market better. The sun and salt air create a very aggressive environment because heat reduces the output and salt strongly affects everything. “Actually, commercial solar panels are mainly developed for a moderate climate for example as in Europe”, said TNO. However, the techniques that TNO Caribbean wants to develop are sun and salt resistant.


 Algae as bio-material

Furthermore, TNO wants to experiment in growing and processing algae and use such as base material for fuel, food and medicines. According to the research firm, our island has ‘optimal growth conditions’ due to abundant light and heat. If this production is successful our country could export bio base-materials and subsequently form a source of income.

Another technology that the research firm wishes to test is the so-called smart grid. This is easier to test on a small island, according to the research firm. In Europe, the grids of the various countries are connected with each other. With the small-scaled tests on our island, one could develop a theory model for Europe. “The current net is not suitable for many decentralized sustainable sources.”

Premier Mike Eman (AVP), who is on a working visit in the Netherlands, will give a presentation together with CEO Peter Boyd of the Carbon War Room (CWR) at the VAN-meeting Tuesday evening in Leiden. Boyd will explain the collaboration that CWR entered into with Aruba. The purpose of the collaboration is complete green energy supply on the island in 2020 at the latest. Fifty percent of the energy need of our island must come from alternative energy in 2013, thus making Aruba the greenest country of the world. During the meeting, Eman will give information on the ‘living lab’ and Wubbo Ockels’ planned visit with zero-emission ship Ecolution in December.

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