renewable energy

UAUCU Student Research Exchange Collected Papers 2015 (Vol. 1)


In this publication you will find papers and reflections that were written by the ten participants in the UAUCU undergraduate research exchange project 2015, a project that offers students from University College Utrecht (UCU) and the University of Aruba (UA) the opportunity to conduct research in a multidisciplinary international student team. All students, 5 from each university, have submitted papers that reflect the diversity of approaches that the students have followed.

On the following pages you will find papers on linguistics, economic development, communication, nature conservation, renewable energy, law, cultural identity and the influence of tourism. While reading you will notice that the research was in different stages of completion at the time of publication of this book: for some of the participants, the field research is completed but data still need to be interpreted, for some the field research still has to start, and for some, the research and analysis have been completed. Based upon this fieldwork the student will write their bachelor’s or master’s thesis. The research interests of the students are diverse but show a common interest in sustainable development and it is clear from the final products that the collaboration in the multidisciplinary team has influenced their approach to their research topics.

Every student has written a reflection on his or her experiences during the project that you will find in this book. It is an interesting experience to read the reflections of the participants and to see how strong the collaboration and support has been among the students. These reflections tell you more about the core of this project: it is not only about doing research and about making student research meaningful; it is also about the realization that we can achieve more if we approach problems from several perspectives at the same time, and work together in teams that are multidisciplinary and as such complementary.

Looking back at this first year of the project, one realizes how many people have been involved. It is impossible to name everybody; many people are crucial to the success of a project like this. For everybody who has been part of this project as (guest) lecturer, supervisor, manager, initiator, facilitator, student, interviewee, respondent, guide, coach, or mentor: thank you very much for your support!


Eric Mijts & Jocelyn Ballantyne Project coordinators UAUCU



Florianne Sollie - UCU

Language and education in a multilingual society: Text comprehension and language attitudes among Aruban high school students.

Sil Boedi Scholte - UCU

Who Plays What Role to Take the Stage? The Governance of Staging Authenticity and Commodification of Cultural Heritage in Aruba.

Kimberly van Loon - UA

Perceptions of internal communication, as told by employees within the health care sector.

Geneida Geerman - UA

Internal communication of sustainable development within hotel sector.

Sharon Meijer - UA

Sustainable practices of Aruban SMEs and their influence on the economy.

Petra Zaal - UCU

Reduction of energy consumption at Aruban hotels.

Francis Malca - UA

Legal perspectives on Solid waste management in Aruba.

Rikkert Loosveld - UCU

Does the Parkietenbos landfill have boundaries? A waste and ph-gradient assessment of Parkietenbos.

Tobia de Scisciolo - UCU

The Assessment of Aruba’s Shoreline Pollution: A Comparison between the South and the North coast.

Giovanni Jacobs - UA

Mapping Aruba’s policy on beach care.

Data type
Research report
Education and outreach
Research and monitoring
Geographic location

A Sustainable Energy Transition Case Study on Aruba


This research identifies opportunities to accelerate the SET towards a 100% RE based on Aruba. This thesis is structured in three parts: 1) a literature review to assess the main relevant theories. 2) A conceptual framework combining the Strategic Niche Management and the Multi-level Perspective is developed to analyse and compare case studies of RE technologies (Solar PV Rooftops, Electric Vehicle and Wind Turbines), including the external factors enabling or constraining this SET. 3) Finally, a roadmap is provided to accelerate the SET on the island of Aruba. Data collection is through literature review, desk research and semi-structured interviews with stakeholders in the actors’ group (government, market and society).

The main research question: What is constraining the SET on the island of Aruba, and how can this be accelerated?
To accelerate the SET: at the regime level, the government should introduce an independent entity and an energy policy where the network-related is aligned to support the targets and expectations. At the niche level, utility managers should implement energy storage and intelligent infrastructure to reduce the dependency on fossil fuels and enable demand-side management to create more room for RE penetration. At the landscape level, raising awareness, organise town hall meetings with pilot projects and demonstrations is necessary for society. Due to the limited space and land on the island, environmental impact assessments are required to mitigate the impact during the development process and avoid social resistance.
The education system should be upgraded to create new experiences, knowledge and information for local society. Hence, introducing a technical university is required but generally to change the teaching practice locally. The government’s responsibility is to stimulate more research, create more RE demonstrations, and create funds.
The research conducted by the universities, local and international, could ultimately improve regulatory measures. Utility and RE companies’ managers should consider that new business models will be necessary to survive in the new RE business environment. Other RET should also be explored, primarily because the current RET outcomes are unknown. The SET can be accelerated towards a 100% RE-based island by adopting these measures.

Data type
Research report
Research and monitoring
Report number
Masters Thesis
Geographic location

A Quantitative, Non-Destructive Methodology for Habitat Characterisation and Benthic Monitoring at Offshore Renewable Energy Developments

Following governments’ policies to tackle global climate change, the development of offshore renewable energy sites is likely to increase substantially over coming years. All such developments interact with the seabed to some degree and so a key need exists for suitable methodology to monitor the impacts of large-scale Marine Renewable Energy Installations (MREIs). Many of these will be situated on mixed or rocky substrata, where conventional methods to characterise the habitat are unsuitable. Traditional destructive sampling is also inappropriate in conservation terms, particularly as safety zones around (MREIs) could function as Marine Protected Areas, with positive benefits for biodiversity. Here we describe a technique developed to effectively monitor the impact of MREIs and report the results of its field testing, enabling large areas to be surveyed accurately and cost-effectively. The methodology is based on a high-definition video camera, plus LED lights and laser scale markers, mounted on a ‘‘flying array’’ that maintains itself above the seabed grounded by a length of chain, thus causing minimal damage. Samples are taken by slow-speed tows of the gear behind a boat (200 m transects). The HD video and randomly selected frame grabs are analysed to quantify species distribution. The equipment was tested over two years in Lyme Bay, UK (25 m depth), then subsequently successfully deployed in demanding conditions at the deep (.50 m) high-energy Wave Hub site off Cornwall, UK, and a potential tidal stream energy site in Guernsey, Channel Islands (1.5 ms21 current), the first time remote samples from such a habitat have been achieved. The next stage in the monitoring development process is described, involving the use of Remote Operated Vehicles to survey the seabed post- deployment of MREI devices. The complete methodology provides the first quantitative, relatively non-destructive method for monitoring mixed-substrate benthic communities beneath MPAs and MREIs pre- and post-device deployment. 

Data type
Scientific article
Research and monitoring