Aruba to run solely on sustainable energy by 2020

| 25/06/2013

aruba wind farm.jpg(CNS): The Aruba Tourism Authority the claims that 70 square-mile island is on track to become the world's first sustainable energy economy and achieve the goal of running on 100 percent sustainable energy by 2020. The Vader Piet Windmill Farm, built in 2009 on the island's northern coast, consists of ten 180-meter high wind turbines that currently produce 20 percent of Aruba's electricity. Plans are in progress for a second wind farm, which will double the energy capacity and continue to decrease Aruba's carbon footprint. In June 2012, Prime Minister Mike Eman and entrepreneur Richard Branson announced a partnership between Aruba and the Carbon War Room, an initiative that seeks to reduce global carbon emission. 

Promoting the Caribbean Island's green credentials in a release Tuesday, the ATA said the partnership would transition the island to 100 percent renewable energy while eliminating any reliance on fossil fuels and will create a model for other countries to replicate.

The island's constant supply of sun, eastern trade winds and ocean currents allow for research and field-testing of renewable energy technologies. The islands tourism authority noted that in recent years, sustainability efforts within the travel industry have progressed from a niche consideration to an industry-wide priority; 96% of Conde Nast Traveler readers believe hotels and resorts should be responsible for protecting the environment in which they operate.  

"The opportunities for renewable development on Aruba are really extraordinary … Aruba could truly be a model to the world in terms of a sustainable place to live and work," said Harvard Professor George Baker.

Aruba's private sector is also committed to preserving and protecting the environment, which is evident in the island's severalcertified and sustainable hotel and resort properties. EarthCheck, the premier international certification alliance for sustainable travel and tourism, complies with the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Greenhouse Gas Protocol, and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 114064 range of standards for greenhouse gas accounting. To date, six resorts on-island are certified by EarthCheck and eight are on the road to achieving certification.

In addition to pursuing alternative energy initiatives, locals and visitors alike join together for the Aruba Reef Care Project, the island's largest volunteer environmental initiative. The project has attracted more than 800 people annually since 1994 and results in cleaner reefs, public beaches and shallow waters.

Bianca Peters, a Dutch expert in sustainability in Aruba's Department of General Affairs, commends the One happy island's green initiatives and the probability for significant global impact. She said, "I decided to come here because of how the people in Aruba think. The energy here is amazing, we can make things happen — especially sustainability — because of the scale of the island, all the natural elements Aruba has, and the enthusiasm of the people living here. I believe living sustainably is the future for the world."

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who has been to Aruba would understand why they could propose to harness the seemingly constant and unwavering winds to produce a sustainable form of energy. Even the trees in Aruba are bent from the constant winds. But, here in Cayman, we don’t have that kind of wind, and studies have already been conducted to determine whether we could use windmills to produce firm power and unfortunately, the simple answer is no. We could use them, but on days when there is little or no wind, they simply will not be able to produce anything other than monumental value, and consequently, wind power is simply not viable here. Anyone that you hear saying otherwise, either knows about some new technology that no one else does, or is simply repeating what they think sounds good, or maybe, just maybe, they have some form of arrangement with some entity that wants to inveigle the Government into implementing this, so that they can get the usual finders fee. Trust me, if this was a viable and reliable form of electricity generation, every island country in the region would be doing it, instead of importing fuel for diesel generators.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Everyone knows the real reason wind power generation was deemed unacceptable to the Cayman Islands.

    The local pilots fly in the air around Cayman and huge wind mills would pose a threat to public safety.

    Before you consider me insane, I heard this said on local talk radio by a local pilot.

    His name will remain anonymous as he is a public figure.

  3. Cayman Mama says:

    Aruba is also a protectorate of The Nettherlands, where you see literally miles of wind generators. So they have the expertise, the equipment and the mindset to move forward quickly on this issue.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Built a wind farm in the Brac and pipe the power to all three Cayman Islands. Simple.

    • Anonymous says:

      'Piping' power unfortunately is not like piping communications signals. The cost of installing a submarine power cable could not be recovered in your lifetime from the value of the energy being piped from the Brac. What would have made more sense is putting the doppler radar in Cayman Brac and piping the information to Grand Cayman through the existing communications channels.

  5. Anonymous says:

    meanwhile cayman continues to burn diesel like a 3rd world nation…… welcome to caymankind…..

  6. Windy MIller says:

    Cayman has no hope of achieving this for some time.  The wind is not strong enough in winter, and probably too strong in summer.  Cayman is in too high a hurricane risk zone to be able to buy the most state of the art equipment too.  The manufacturers just refuse to sell this type of equipment to places in that risky an area.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have sun, wind and waves, all of which could be used, except that the blood sucking leech that is CUC has no interest in that. People might realise that after initial investment cost the electricity would cost almost nothing to produce…so CUC would never get away with the prices they do now. It is obscene what they charge now, I would argue they are immensley inefficient, have no interest in reducing prices, and  some competition is well overdue.

    • Dred says:

      I would like to see the statistics of Cayman Vs other Caribbean Islands in terms of direct hits.

      I believe places like Puerto Rico, BVI and Bahamas see far more than we do, even Jamaica. Most that hit us hit Jamaica enroute. We actually don't see many direct hits to be honest. We could probably count the direct hits in the past 20 years on one hand and many that come are like glorified Nor'westers. What I basically mean is that they only give us a bit of wind and rain.

      We could feasibly have a retractable Solar Farm in the Eastern Districts. If it is designed properly it could work.

    • Anonymous says:

      Windy Miller, have you just cashed your CUC dividend cheque?  Wind may not be the 100% answer, but CUC BLOCKING solar and our right to selling back to the grid should be deemed as simply criminal. 

      Wake up, Jim Knapp is right with Endless Energy and there are already a few self sustainable homes already here…. we only need our politicians to take their noses out of Hew's behind and give our people a chance to be self-sustaining instead of relting on the $$$ CUC cartel.

      • Anonymous says:

        CUC blocking solar? I don't think so. CUC has a programme that promotes grid connected home solar systems and there are a growing number of home systems connected today.  And  I don't understand how you can blame CUC for preventing you from being self sustainable. By law everyone has the right to disconnect from CUC, be independent and provide their own electricity for consumption.

    • Anonymous says:

      Windy Miller you have it the wrong way around.

      Our strongest wind is in the winter months.

      That being said the wind is not constant.

      I have been to Aruba and their wind is fairly constant.

      As for the wind remark.

      It is true that the Government chose the radar over the wind energy.

      However the push for wind energy came while the radar project was being completed.

      You have to realize that the radar negotiations was going on since around 2008.

      Either way live radar images now available on the Government weather website.

    • Windy Miller says:

      Sorry, got my winds mixed up in summer and winter.  Must have been those beans.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you also got your "name" wrong. Is that your real name or is that "pun intended"?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile, in the Cayman Islands, additional fossil fuel based generators are being added… Cha!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, I can't wait to see those cars, trucks, semi, ships, buses, commercial airlines, air cargo, trains, all residential and commerical properties and grocery stores, hospitals, etc..ALL run on renewable engery in Aruba….. including all non-fossil fuel back up generators…


  9. Anonymous says:

    Cayman……. Take a hint. To heck with cuc.

    • Anonymous says:

      CUC tried to introduce wind power. Government chose doppler weather radar.

  10. Anonymous says:

    please try this in the cayman islands.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Before anyone gets too excited, Aruba enjoys (and suffers from) a near constant high wind, unlike Cayman.

    • Dred says:

      And how much of the year do we have…aaah SUNLIGHT?? We could do something also not just sit while the world advances and our CUC Bills continue to rise….We need to start being PRO-active instead of RE-active. There are many options out there for us to invest in for the future of our Islands.

      • Anonymous says:

        Works perfectly for 12 hours a day, 80 percent of the time (or on average, 9.6 hours a day). The other 14.4 hours a day we will need to run diesel generators, which take time to run up and run down, so you have to keep them going all the time (even when the Sun is shining). So now we get a full solar infrastructure and a full diesel infrastructure.

        …and that saves us money how, exactly?   

        • Anonymous says:

          Ever heard of batteries? That's what the rest of the world uses to store solar energy for use during the hours of darkness

          • Anonymous says:

            That’s the problem – batteries cannot yet store the energy efficiently.

            • Anonymous says:

              And they are expensive, do not last forever, exceptionally heavy and incredibly toxic to the environmemnt.

    • Anonymous9 says:

      But we do have wind here, just not constant. Efforts should be made….


      I visited Aruba once years ago and had the top layer of my skin sandblasted off as I sat on the beach. It is so windy there that the Divi trees grow bent over!! How quaint. Suffer is the perfect word. It was miserable and the diving was just as bad.

      • Anonymous says:

        I also visited Aruba quite a few years ago during Christmas time and it was really windy.  I do not know if it is like that throughout the year.  You are correct, all of the trees are bent over I suppose due to the constant winds and the trees are not really a lush as they are here.  Alot of Cacti  and other scrubby plants.  However I did enjoy my visit and would love to go back sometime.  I wish we could use solar power more in Cayman, but when talking to others I hear so many conflicting stories.  It seems as if one would have to have individual  "solar farm" to collect enough energy to run a house  and it sounds very expensive.  I have a 1500 sq.ft. house, everything electric- now paying CI$300 or so monthly in electricity bills.  The June bill was CI$306.00 up $6.00 from May.  Any one knows how much I would have to pay to go solar??  A colleague of mine told me  that one solar panel can run one light bulb.!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. The capacity factor (average power output as a % of maximum rated output) in Aruba is over 50% compared to roughly 30% in Cayman. So for the same turbine Aruba will get over 66% more energy output than Cayman would. Having said that large  wind turbines would bring savings to electricty consumers in Cayman if the required Government and Planning permissions were received. The last proposed project of this nature was shut down by Government.