Hydrogen production can be an interesting product for export.
WILLEMSTAD - Curaçao has the capacity to produce sustainable energy for generating clean and lasting energy. Various projects are underway to make sustainable energy use a reality, where the exportation of this energy also becomes realistic.
Currently, a large part of the world uses natural gas for cooking and heating their homes during cold periods. Natural gas is pumped from the ground, but like crude oil, natural gas is becoming scarcer. As an alternative product, science has shown that hydrogen production can replace natural gas, as hydrogen production can also be used for cooking and keeping homes warm during cold periods. Moreover, hydrogen can be used as a "green" replacement for gasoline in cars.
A 2021 study confirmed that the energy market in Latin America is also moving towards transforming their energy production systems. Various Latin American countries have set different goals related to energy aspects, including reducing dependence on traditional energy production.
Furthermore, the study noted that Latin America is expected to demand 66% more hydrogen by 2030. According to the current demand, Latin countries are demanding 4 million kilotons of hydrogen per year, but by 2030, the demand is projected to increase to 6,700 kilotons per year.
Hydrogen production could serve as the catalyst for a swift transition to 100% renewable energy sources in Curaçao. Hydrogen is colorless and odorless and can be stored and transported in liquid or gaseous form. When applied in vehicles such as cars or buses, they will run on clean energy produced solely from water vapor as emissions. In the energy transition, hydrogen energy can be a realistic replacement for gasoline and/or natural gas.
Besides the ambition to produce hydrogen, Curaçao has taken significant steps to explore the possibility of generating sustainable energy, thus beginning the transition to sustainable energy. This comes as good news after some disagreements regarding sustainable energy projects on the island. Among the sustainable projects in progress is a project involving six electric buses that will run based on energy generation from the ground. Plans for the project have been realized, and the project is currently underway.
Another promising project is the offshore wind turbines project. In June of last year, the Curaçao government took a significant step in exploring the potential of generating energy using offshore wind turbines. A geophysical study of the seabed in the waters around Curaçao was conducted. The research area extends to the borders of Curaçao's Exclusive Economic Zone and the borders of Venezuela, Aruba, and Bonaire. This study is still in its initial phase but is crucial for achieving sustainable wind energy.
The ambition to become a regional leader in green hydrogen production using wind energy stems from a study conducted by TNO, an independent Dutch organization specializing in applied scientific research. Due to its geographical position and weather conditions, Curaçao has a unique opportunity to maximize wind energy generation.
Within the region, Curaçao, along with Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Barbados, serves as an example of innovation in clean and sustainable energy. These mentioned countries have already begun sustainable projects in infrastructure that are resilient to climate change and beneficial for the region.