On November 7, 2023, the Dutch-German Chamber of Commerce organized the 5th German-Caribbean Energy Conference at the Renaissance Convention Center in Oranjestad, Aruba. The conference was held in association with a German trade mission facilitated by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate Action to Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. A delegation of German entrepreneurs and energy experts visited the ABC islands, looking to extend their business to the Dutch Caribbean region.
The conference was opened by a keynote by Prime Minister of Aruba, Mrs. Evelyn Wever-Croes. During her speech, Prime Minister Wever-Croes welcomed the German delegation and pointed out the importance of collaboration between Germany and Aruba. She also indicated that the government sees energy transition as more than just infrastructure policy but as a social transformation deeply rooted in the dreams and hopes of every citizen. The keynote was followed by Minister of Labor, Energy and Integration of Aruba, Mr. Glenbert Croes, who highlighted the importance of Aruba investing in renewable energies and energy efficiency in order to reduce high energy costs and resolve climate issue. During his presentation, Glenbert Croes addressed Aruba's plans to become a Hydrogen Valley and make the Refinery site completely sustainable.
Mr. Ramon Chong, President of the working group Offshore Floating Wind at the Ministry of Economic Development of Curaçao presented the results of a recently conducted study on the potential for an offshore wind farm off the coast of Curaçao.
Four German energy companies presented their energy solutions made in Germany to an audience of 75 energy experts from the ABC-islands. In addition renowned German energy experts like Dirk Bonse of the German Biogas Association and Dr. Matthias Stark of the German Renewable Energy Federation informed the audience about biogenic waste for energy and grid stability with renewable energies and sector coupling.
The conference ended with a panel discussion with four other German energy companies on the challenges and opportunities for power and energy efficiency projects in the Caribbean. The German-Caribbean relationships were strengthened during a network lunch and individual meetings after the conference.