A delegation from Saba consisting of Commissioner of Energy, Chris Johnson, Managing Director of Saba Electric Company, Dexter Johnson and Policy Advisor, Sarah van der Horn recently returned from the Green Aruba Conference. The primary purpose of the trip was to attend the business to business meetings that are facilitated by the conference and establish contact with businesses that have expertise in solar power and battery backup installations. This is in line with goal of SEC to the install a total of 2 Megawatt of solar power on the island; the company is process of making the preparations to install the first megawatt.
The conference was kicked off by Prime Minister of Aruba Mike Eman, who gave a speech on the need for creating sustainable societies and reducing the environmental stress we place on planet earth. Mike Eman dedicated his speech to the Dutch Astronaut Wubbo Ockels, whom he said was a great teacher and inspiration on sustainability who passed away in May this year.
During the 5 day conference, the delegation met with businesses from Aruba, North America and Europe that may be potential contractors to execute the project. In the area of solar providers the were able to meet with solar companies, Optix Solar and Wernet Solar Solutions and in the area of battery backup, which is a critical component of solar power they met with representatives of Antillia Energy, Hydrostor Inc, Temporal Power and Web Aruba. They were also able to meet with companies that provide other renewable energy solutions. Commissioner Johnson said, “The business meetings were very fruitful, not only in finding capable solar companies, but also because the presentations and the meetings helped us to ‘ think out of the box’ and get new ideas on providing more renewable energy for Saba in the future.”
Throughout the conference, presentations were given by businesses, research institutes and government officials, providing updates on the latest technologies in the areas of sustainable technology, energy, infrastructure and tourism. Also presenting at the conference was former Prime Minister of The Netherlands, Jan Peter Balkenende. His presentation focused on infrastructure, sustainable growth and quality of life. He emphasized the importance of picking up the creative ideas on sustainability that are developed in society and giving these ideas a chance to become reality. Balkenende believes that sustainability is not just a vision, it’s a mindset. Commissioner Johnson who became acquainted with Balkenende during the transition said that he had some insightful discussions with the former prime minister on the sidelines of the conference. He also extended his well wishes to the people of Saba.
For the first time the Green Aruba conference was combined with the Europe meets the Americas conference in order to bring together businesses, government officials and investors who are not only interested in green technology and services and a transformation to sustainable prosperity, but also want to strengthen the business opportunities between Latin America, Europe and North America via the Caribbean islands. Aruba, being part of the kingdom of the Netherlands and located in the vicinity of Latin America envisions serving as a hub to bring these companies together.
Press release GIS Saba