Caribbean as super-rich as Middle-East


By Cdr.Bud Slabbaert

Just like in the Middle-East, it is all about fuel. But no drilling in Caribbean! No way, José! Pumping? Yes! Pumping seawater and the islands are actually swimming in it.

This is no joke or dilly-dally.

Oh no! As the emperor of France once said, ’Not tonight Josephine’. This is serious business. The Caribbean communities could flourish.

Islands swimming in the seawater will not be the same as island swimming in money, however there is a solution that has the potential for success on a scale ambitious enough to completely alter the economies of the region. 


What is this mystery solution? Researchers at universities in the USA, Australia, Middle-East, and China have proven beyond any doubt that seawater can be turned into hydrogen fuel by splitting the oxygen from hydrogen in water.

Remember the two elements of water H2 and O? Let’s not go into the chemical biddly-boo of how it is done.

The curious and pathological snoopy noses can look it up and they will become convinced advocates for replacing fossil fuel by hydrogen fuel. 


What is so special about using hydrogen? No carbon footprint and the exhaust is colorless, odorless, no-toxic and surprisingly is simply water.

Hydrogen has the highest energy content of any common fuel measured by weight.

Who needs it? Almost any engine that is driven by fossil fuel (gasoline, diesel, jetfuel, etc.) can be powered with hydrogen.

The automotive and aviation industries are already actively moving to make changes and promising a better tomorrow.

The Caribbean is the word’s region that is most dependent on aviation. Cruise and container ships may eventually use hydrogen fuel produced in the Caribbean. 

Hydrogen can also be used to generate electricity. Just think of the stationary power plants in the Caribbean, no more fuel imports but rather using the own seawater hydrogen energy.

It doesn’t need a large refinery at one privileged central location in the region. The generator unit can be small enough to fit any island size. Theoretically, beach resorts could have their own. 

Capital investment in this new energy sector will have a sustainable generous return of investment.

Cost savings for users can be significant. It can be an export product for a Caribbean island that thus far had little to nothing to export and had to deal with an import/export deficit. It can contribute to economic diversification.

Considering that 70% of the Earth’s surface is water, one would tend to say that supply will be available for another million years. 


Most important of all, it will have a positive impact on the environment. Green and carbon-free.

With the academic findings currently available it would not be necessary to do another heavy-duty study whether there is an opportunity for the region. The whole world is looking for an eco-friendly solution.

This one will cut every excuse ever used for failing. And all marketeers agree that money is made by selling solutions.

This solution should make any insightful Caribbean politician or entrepreneur jump through hoops. It needs neither courage nor conviction to fall in love with it.     


Maybe one Caribbean Island government might consider creating a research institute for hydrogen fuel development.

Innovative products always need improvement or adjustments. The winner is usually the one who has foresight and is the fastest and smartest. Possibly even a leadership position.

Just imagine the world can be fueled by energy from paradise. Filling it up with ‘Caribbean Grade One Plus’ sounds even better than filling it up with ‘Zero Emission Something’.








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  1. Fuel Cell industry is a promising technology that individuals like Jeff Bezos has placed investment bets. To bring this challenging technology to market in the Caribbean is …. ????
    Where is the scientific research institutions among Caribbean governments? Take a look at UWI scientific research, and what do you see? A Cocoa roasting machine at St. Augustine.
    How do we get to fuel cells from there?
    With no insight or vision, when Antigua had an opportunity to create true advance academic opportunities with Harvard University it settled for a few online courses that are readily available to anyone and everyone who has an internet connection
    In Antigua and Barbuda our natural resource is thought to be 365 plus beaches, most of which we don’t know how to keep clean.
    Fuel cell technology requires engineers and scientists who have been trained from 1st. Form to be analytical, not just to memorize and regurgitate information.

    • This is a pragmatic, holistic view of the predicament of our limited advantage in intellectual capacity, that lend itself to the benefit to be derived from our environment resources. And this is a continued trend in the race of our people, to welcome all foreign inventions and, intervention swarming to exploit for the benefit of their lot, and leaving us the legacy of bottom
      dwelling frenzy feeding consumers; chumming at the scraps of chums. Re-educate and, retool the consciousness of the masses of our people in unity: even though devoid of monolithic ascendancy.

  2. This makes absolutely zero sense. There is no benefit for Antigua trying to produce hydrogen.

    1. High Cost of Electricity: In Antigua, electricity costs are among the highest worldwide, largely due to dependence on imported fossil fuels for power generation. Hydrogen production, particularly via electrolysis, demands substantial electricity. Given the high electricity prices in Antigua, the energy consumed in hydrogen production renders the country on the inefficient side of the energy curve. The process becomes economically unviable as the cost of electricity to produce hydrogen exceeds the market value of the hydrogen produced.

    2. Significant Capital Investment: Launching hydrogen production facilities requires a considerable upfront investment. For a country like Antigua, with its size and economic capacity, amassing such substantial funding would be impossible as it is not financially viable to start.

    3. Desalination Requirements: Electrolysis for hydrogen production needs freshwater. While seawater can be used it cannot be used directly due to its high salt content, which can produce chlorine gas during electrolysis and corrode the equipment. Desalination, which is an energy-intensive process, would be necessary to use seawater, adding an extra layer of cost and complexity, and further reducing the energy efficiency of hydrogen production. We can’t even deliver fresh drinking water to our residents or keep our own desal plants running.

    4. Lack of Technical Expertise: Hydrogen production is a complex, technical process. Antigua can’t deliver fresh drinking water or keep the escalators and conveyors working at the airport. We couldn’t begin to run a hydrogen plant.

    5. Logistical and Market Challenges: The primary markets for hydrogen are in Asia, Europe, and North America. Transporting hydrogen from Antigua to these far-off markets could further diminish the already negative profitability.

    6. Environmental Concerns: Although hydrogen is a clean fuel, if the electricity for its production comes from fossil fuels, the net environmental impact could be negative due to increased carbon emissions.

    In fact, other than the middle of a desert, Antigua would be the last place to make hydrogen.

    • @Reality…the ‘reality’ of our existence in the Caribbean has being based upon individualism when it comes to future development, that we always miss the forest for the trees.
      We are ‘individually #big, but collectively #SMALL.’
      As a kid watching the Jetsons, I just knew, that their REALITY, would never and could never become the REALITY of HUEmans, or at least not in my lifetime. Damn was I wrong, because as I watch The Jetsons today, I realised they were introducing Artificial Intelligence from FACETIME to flying cars(you’ll be able to purchase one of these pretty soon).
      There’s no doubt, that any technology of this nature will have its pros and cons.
      As for the cost of desalination being added to the overall cost, of producing Hydrogen, if we in the Caribbean(not the CARICOM pseudo government), could get away from the INDIVIDUALISM, we would be able to come up with better solutions to the regions negative issues.
      In terms of fresh water, many Caribbean Islands are swimming in rivers(Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent etc) sources of fresh water.
      Solar and Wind are at our ready also hydro generated power from the sea.

      We must understand, being “individually big, yet collectively SMALL,” is the anchor which keeps us anchored in ignorance causing stagnation and the spinning of our wheels in the mud.

      I also grew up as a tweenager witnessing the rise, of one of the Worlds Greatest Cricketer’s, Sir Alexander ‘Viv’ Richards rise like cream to the top of said sport, when its inventors thought, no way can an island of 50,000 people be able to produce world class cricketers. Time proved them wrong.

      This technology will get the support and capital investments needed to make it profitable. I, pray we in the Caribbean will not let ignorance be our guide, as is the case of the Tourism Industry. We know who took the risks and who those risks are paying huge dividends to.

      Jumbee_Picknee aka Ras Smood
      De ‘ole Dutty Peg🦶🏿Garrat_Bastard

      Vere Cornwall Edwards.

  3. The easiest thing is always to say: “it cannot be done”, period. That means giving up without further exploring or trying. The article is supposed to be “food for thought”. The fact is that it actually can be done. There may be hurdles. The road to success usually seldom comes easy. It takes intelligence and bright minds to overcome the hurdles. The electricity “out of the plug/socket” may be expensive. And when such is generated by using fossil fuel, it is damaging and furthers negative climate change. Continuing to go that route is not what environmentalists have in mind. So, a logical step would be to generate electricity in an alternate way. Options do exist. Solar energy and wind energy. The Caribbean is promoted as a very sunny region, and it also does have a fair amount of wind. So, instead of saying that things cannot be done, one should explore how it can be done and provide positive suggestions. Bringing solutions can be a lucrative activity. Where there is a will, there is a way. So, instead of coming up with a list of points against it, it would be more constructive to provide a list of points, how it can be done. And an innovative suggestion or solution that was not thought of yet, would also be very welcome.

  4. I don’t think ppl know how bad that would be… not only for our food sources but for our saftey

  5. Solar energy can provide sufficient electricity to generate hydrogen fuel. The hydrogen fuel can be used at power plants to generate electricity and it would replace the use of fossil fuel. Those power plants can even be small and have the size of a unit for smaller operations. It has already been proven that it can be done. It may require some perfection and adjustment for commercialization on a larger scale. The aviation industry is very much involved in the development of electric propelled aircraft with the objective of becoming carbon-emission free. In a hybrid configuration, an aircraft can use two energy sources in flight, either in tandem or alternately. The combination of energy sources – hydrogen fuel with electricity – enables optimization energy efficiency and reduce fuel consumption. A research center in the Caribbean may help develop seawater-hydrogen-electric models for island/archipelago configurations which can be used worldwide in similar settings. The new technology could become a “product” that can be marketed. Instead of taking a “wait-and-see” attitude, exploring new ways and moving forward would be more beneficial.

  6. Feedback has given some indications where things may happen: “One Caribbean govt should take the initiative as a research project. Trinidad should grasp at this opportunity to enhance research at their Energy Institute at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. However, there must be the political will to move ahead and give financial support to such a venture.” The Bahamas may take on a leading role and integrating it in a project applicable for its archipelago and spread economic development of the many islands.

  7. Negativity has been brought on by our slavery past. They do say that mental slavery is worse than physical slavery. There seems to be an element of truth to this. It is fascinating that when one of our own comes up with a brilliant idea we immediately try to downplay its potential with every possible negative thought under the sun. The facts are the facts. Water comprises Hydrogen and oxygen and yes there are ways of separating these two elements. Yes there are challenges to achieving all of this but it is not impossible. We need to stop thinking so negatively and turn our minds to achieving what we want and need.

  8. Beyond stealing and plunder; bold ideas are what differentiate counties like US from lots of other countries it’s size.
    Bold ideas in science and technology quite often comes out of academic and research institutions.
    Let’s reform and get our academic institutions producing more than senior civil servants.
    It’s always nice to dream but one has to also be realistic.
    A bold and realistic beginning is to reform our institutions of higher learning. Build and maintain the research labs that produces products that can be monetized and lift our masses out of poverty.
    Jimmy Carter agreed to allowed 100,000 Chinese per year to be registered in US universities. Asians are now the majority in US academic research labs today. They are also some the leading scientists around the world.
    Asians just won a US Supreme Court ruling that will have their numbers explode in US elite institutions and so will the technology transfer.
    How many of Antigua and Barbuda makes leave school semi-illiterate? You would be surprised at the number.
    The idea of Facebook was said to be stolen from the Winklevoss brothers. While there was a settlement the brothers could not have won; for their idea of social networking websites was old hat.
    The important factor was that Zuckerberg had a bold idea and was thinking big when he left Harvard to Silicon Valley for that’s where the cluster of AI programmers and entrepreneurial talent existed.
    When Antigua and Barbuda had the opportunity to create a cadre of scientists coming out of Harvard; it was traded for a few online courses to create more civil service personnel.
    The opposition did not say boo; and the media did not say boo.
    With regards to the enhancing of research, certainly the UTT Strategic Alliance Programs appear to be a good beginning and offers some hope in that direction.

  9. @ Sharon Lycorish
    I share your concern about negativity and mental slavery.
    Among challenges are research resources, investment capital and markets.
    A example is Global Ports which owns Antigua and Barbuda Cruise Port. I do not like the arrangement made, but for such infrastructure developments the investment capital was not readily available in the region. That’s why our beaches are being taken over by foreign capital.
    Want to know about negativity and mental slavery. Tomorrow Caricom meets for its 50th. anniversary. Let’s wait and see what useful information comes out of it. It’s an annual junket event from which they issue paternalistic statements.
    Gaston will be making his case for LIAT. I’m hoping he presents a viable and realistic plan that deserves serious consideration rather than him hitting them over their heads.
    As the other Heads of Government seems to have moved on, and Gaston is not known to be a shrewd negotiator; that may be just wishful thinking.
    Technology is an arms race. If this is an arms’ race—and the weapons here are dollar bills—the Caribbean can’t compete until it adequately educate its people.

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