Yet more international money for renewables in Galapagos

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Published today in the El Telegrafo newspaper in Ecuador

The Government of Ecuador has allocated, thanks to the support of international cooperation, more than 55 million dollars in the construction of renewable energy projects in the Galapagos Islands, with the aim of promoting wind and solar.

This was reported on Monday, October 28, by the Ministry of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources.   The investment seeks to encourage the production of renewable energy for electricity generation in Galapagos, particularly in the islands of Santa Cruz, Baltra, San Cristobal, Isabela and Floreana (those islands with a permanent human population) with the replacement update use of fossil fuels, benefiting more than 25,000 thousand inhabitants.

The initiative is promoted by the Ministry of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources, through the electricity company ELECGALAPAGOS, with the aim of eradicating the use of petroleum-derived fuels and the emission of CO2 into the environment. According to the document, it is expected that by 2025 the islands of San Cristóbal, Santa Cruz, Isabela and Floreana will be able to count on 9.1 MW, 15 MW, 1.8 MW and 0.17 MW, respectively, of renewable energy such as wind and solar.

In 2018, the total energy generated in the archipelago was 56,897.64 MWh / year, of which 16 percent corresponded to renewable sources. In 2018, the Government of Ecuador inaugurated the Isabela Hybrid project, which today consumes 34 percent less fuel than the old thermal power plant, saving 1,400 tons of CO2 per year. Also, through cooperation with the Government of Korea, a 1.0 MWp photovoltaic project was carried out in San Cristóbal, which will have a 2.2 MWh storage system.

NOTE FROM CNH TOURS:   We've written about other such grants in the past:

The Galapagos islands receive a disproportionate share of international cooperation funds for the development of renewable energy.  The iconic archipelago appears to be a draw for marketing purposes and/or as a pretext for a visit by those involved in the projects.   While the islanders are lucky to be the recipients of such support, those that invest funds in providing renewable energy projects could be encouraged to provide additional funds for energy conservation work as well.  While living in Galapagos, we were always impressed by buildings not designed to be cooled by air conditioning (e.g. the complete absence of any insulation in the buildings, about as air tight as a screened-in porch) while being fitted with multiple air conditioners operating almost constantly in the hot season.  

Investing $10 million in helping retrofit these buildings would like reduce the consumption of electricity by an amount close to what will be generated from these $55 milllion solar and wind powered plants.   

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