The dream of de-carbonizing our economy

So much talk about hydrogen got to me to sit down and read about it.

The Minster of Energy was name dropping, his buddies, the king of Spain, the king of the Netherlands; he also complained about the negativity of the opposing party, criticizing his activities, for political gain.

After I explain to you, what I learned about hydrogen, you too will be totally puzzled as to why our minister spends so much time zipping around the globe to participate in hydrogen talks, spinning tales about Aruba’s future hydrogen valley, inspired by our fantastic progressiveness, insight and vision.

First things first: Hydrogen is everywhere. It is the H in H2O, water.

So it is an abundant chemical element, HOWEVER, a significant amount of energy is needed to break it down to pure hydrogen, that may be used as a source of energy. BUT the energy required to break hydrogen down and convert it into energy must be supplied either by heat or electricity – powered by LNG, coal, heavy fuels, solar or wind.

Aruba would require much dirty energy to produce clean energy.

Let’s see if you know what Aruba’s source of energy is?

We make electricity the old fashioned way, we burn dirty fuel, so in order to create a potential carbon free fuel, we must blow a lot of smoke.

Makes no sense, right?


If we had solar and wind powered green energy and we attempted to produce pure hydrogen then indeed we would get carbon free green fuel, but in Aruba we’re still stuck in the past, contributing to green house gases, climate change, global warming, and the road to clean, green fuel, is long, and political.

FACT: If we have no alternative, if there is no renewable-powered electricity, the talk about hydrogen production for export is ridiculous.

Whose gonna buy it from us, when we produce it?

Besides Curacao is also busy and ahead of us, I hear, in spinning their hydrogen valley fantasies.

The islands are busy competing with each other, who has the biggest Free Zone, biggest hospital, biggest port. They all end up with a watered down version of everything instead of sharing: You do the hospital, I do the hydrogen, etc. Instead of collaborating, they are competing, spending money to no end.

By the way we can also produce pure hydrogen with nuclear energy, but I don’t think we’re getting a nuclear powered electric plant in the near future.

Hydrogen can also be produced with natural gas, a heat-powered process, but we are not there yet.

While talking about our fantastic progressiveness, insight and vision, we still contribute to greenhouse gases, and all that talk about trying to make it less polluting, is just that, talk.

I was also studying the Hydrogen Valley term, South Africa has one, also the Netherlands. These are countries with solar and wind-powered alternative energy sources at their disposal, so the talk about hydrogen is legit. After all, hydrogen can be the building block of a clean energy economy, when it is produced with zero-carbon fuel.

But first we need to introduce electricity from a renewable source, here, before everything.

Back to “Hydrogen Valley:” Th expression denotes a geographical area – a city, a region, an island or an industrial cluster – where several hydrogen applications are combined together into an integrated hydrogen ecosystem that consumes a significant amount of hydrogen, improving the economics behind the project.

So when we make hydrogen from water, with electricity sourced from wind and/or solar, we can talk about that.

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June 22, 2023
Rona Coster