Caribbean Branch Office TNO
A clean tech research center with test and certification facilities.
Since 2009 the Government of Aruba started to seek international partners to transform itself into a leading sustainable society. In implementing its national programs, Aruba benefits from its relationships with institutions from all over the world. TNO, a renowned not-for-profit organization for applied scientific research in the Netherlands established its Caribbean Branch Office in Aruba in 2011.
TNO has offices in Brussels, Qatar, Toronto and now in Aruba. TNO is also a flagship partnership for the Green Gateway, servicing the Caribbean, Central and South American region from its base in Aruba. TNO’s Caribbean Branch in Aruba has not only been a central and instrumental part in Aruba’s achievements thus far, but continues to take advantage of the nearly constant supply of sun, wind and waves in conducting testing and research of renewable energy technology. The center focuses on field lab facilities for solar and wind based energy systems and low energy water treatment systems (production and waste-to-energy). Moreover, it facilitates educational and training opportunities for Aruban residents, international students and professionals.
TNO has assisted Aruba in consolidating all its ongoing projects as well as to identify solid opportunities for the island. Aruba’s energy transition is not only a technological design, but also the economic and societal aspects must be considered.
TNO has produced several crucial studies to aid us in gaining knowledge for sustainable progress:
- “Community Household Attitudes and Behaviors to Energy Efficiency Adoption”
- “Electrical Vehicles and the Reduction of Transport-Related CO2-Emissions on Aruba”
- “Roadmap Smart Grid Aruba”
- “Saving Energy in the Government Buildings of Aruba, Assessment of the Short-term Solutions”
“TNO is looking for the balance according to the ‘Triple P’ Principle: PEOPLE, PLANET AND PROFIT.”
DIRECTOR TNO CARIBBEAN BRANCH OFFICE
Aruba’s Social Transition to a Sustainable Future
The “Green’S’Cool” Program was launched in 2012 to make Aruban schools more energy efficient, sustainable and economically independent by involving and empowering students to become more aware of the environment. The project originally began with workshops and a fun competition to encourage students to make their schools more energy efficient. It allowed participation of public and private companies, which also benefited from the practical and interesting solutions the students developed for their schools.
Green’S’cool has since been developing an entire national program tackling various segments of the population with tailored projects to encourage a sustainable lifestyle. It is the vision of Green’S’cool to be the heart of a social platform connecting, engaging and integrating all sustainability innovations in Aruba, where community, industry, public sector and NGOs collaborate for a sustainable Aruba. The goals are to positively influence Aruba’s social adoption rates through targeted markets, to develop ‘How-To’ Toolkits for target markets, to measure the progress, to document the Best Practices, and to export our knowledge to other small island states and/or countries.
The Green Faculty
Innovating Aruba’s Future Workforce
TNO in collaboration with Arizona State University successfully started the Green Faculty in 2012. The Green Faculty offers trainings in support of Aruba’s sustainable energy transition. Aruba realizes that in addition to technological innovation, local capacity building is of key importance. The first trainings focused on increasing know-how in the area of solar power.
Linked to this training program, collaboration has been developed with the local technical college, Colegio EPI. The solar training lab is located on its campus. This created the opportunity to use this facility to train the next generation of solar installers. An intensive one week engineering and installation training continues to be offered on a regular basis and is marketed to professionals throughout Caribbean region.
To achieve its ambitious goals in transitioning off fossil fuels, Aruba will need a workforce that has the skills and capacity to make this a reality. To address this need, the University of Aruba, since TNO’s launch of the Green Faculty in 2012 and in partnership with the TNO’s Caribbean Branch Office with the support of the Government, has since increased educational opportunities for sustainable technology on the island. In cooperation with US and European partners and universities, Aruba’s Green Center of Excellence plans to offer a Bachelor Degree on Environment, Energy and Entrepreneurship moving forward.
Seven leading professors from Harvard University in the fields of business, science, engineering, ecology and public policy came to Aruba in 2012 to examine, in both broad and narrow terms, the status of Aruba’s efforts on sustainable energy, the challenges and the plans for the future. The delegation from Harvard was led by Professor Daniel P. Schrag, Director, Harvard University Center for the Environment, and also included faculty members from other schools and departments, including the Harvard Business School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government. The goal of Aruba’s partnership with Harvard is to explore creative sustainable solutions and approaches, not only for Aruba, but for the entire region.
UNIVERSITY OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
The Government of Aruba signed a Memorandum of Agreement in 2014 with the University of the District of Columbia, specifically its College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences. The University will assist Aruba to create capacity-building skills and knowledge in support of food and water security on the Island. Among other things, the University of the District of Columbia will provide teaching, learning, demonstration projects and research in line with the environmental and sustainability goals of Aruba. In addition, it will offer opportunities for exchange students between Aruba and the United States, including opportunities for Aruban students to study aquaponics and hydroponics at the University’s Muirkirk Research Farm located in Beltsville, Maryland.
CARBON WAR ROOM
The partnership would make Aruba a fully sustainable energy economy, with the Government of Aruba and Carbon War Room working to devise an integrated strategy for the economy-wide transition – a world’s first, if successful. Carbon War Room accepted the challenge of the United Nations to take the lessons learned in Aruba and apply them in ten other island nations, so the “Aruba model” will be exported globally. The prestigious Rocky Mountain Institute has recently joined efforts with the Carbon War Room, and together these two well respected nonprofits dedicated to promoting renewable energy will be assisting the Government of Aruba to achieve its goal.
WEB Aruba contributes in creating awareness for new technologies among the future generation.
Cutting Emissions and Cooling Energy Costs
Furthering the 2020 Vision, the Aruban government and Utilities Aruba unveiled a new cooling system at the main office building of WEB in 2014. The new installation harnesses cutting-edge technology to help deliver on the vision of a greener, lower-cost energy future for Aruba. Utilities Aruba believes that temperature management will also be crucial in cutting emissions and energy costs as cooling represents 50 % of the energy demand.
“This project will apply mostly to our larger and industrial clients. We plan to use our headquarters as a model and later expand the use of this technology to help us shift power production from day to night.”
Hunto Nos Ta Spaar – Together We Save!
Promoting sustainability through energy efficiency.
Hunto Nos ta Spaar is an awareness program designed for the community and executed in a collaborative form by the Government of Aruba, Utilities Aruba NV, WEB Aruba NV, NV Elmar, and many partners in the private sector. The aim is to, in a practical form, encourage the use of energy- and water- saving products in households.
With 120 students from our local technical institute EPI, home-to-home visits were made with a ‘goodie’ bag containing energy-efficient lightbulbs, kitchen- and bathroom aerators, toilet water-saving tools, toilet dye for leak detection, and thermometers for refrigerators and room temperature control. The highly successful awareness campaign covered 10,000 homes out of the 35,000 households in Aruba and will continue with its efforts in the future.
Smart Community Design, Efficiency and Innovation at Home
Real life testing and demonstration is a must to move sustainable technologies from concept to practical application. TNO’s Smart Community Aruba is a 20-unit residential neighborhood, aimed at sustainable living. The key objective is knowledge development relating to scalable technology solutions and business models to help make Aruba’s transition to sustainable energy a reality.
The aims are to:
- Experiment on supply and demand in harsh climatic conditions.
- Gain experience with the integration of renewable energy into the smart grid;
- Evaluate sustainable building techniques and efficiency measures;
- Manage water and waste issues efficiently and innovatively;
- Develop new energy service models and learn about consumer behavior;
- Create opportunities for private partners to showcase, test and certify: technology, building systems and design.
Aruba is also a challenging test environment due to the harsh climatic conditions including high wind speeds, high UV factor and salt corrosion. A successful performance on Aruba will therefore be a valuable product marketing reference.