Ecuador to boost renewable energy on Galapagos Islands

February 19th, 2008 - 4:19 pm ICT by admin  

Quito, Feb 19 (Xinhua) Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has proposed to free the country’s Galapagos Islands from polluting fuels by 2015 and boost wind power generation capacity. Ecuador has launched the wind farm project a few months ago with three 800 KW turbines, whose power would allow San Cristobal, the archipelago’s second most populous island with 6,100 residents, to halve its use of diesel power.

The Galapagos Islands are home to 19,000 people and a host of unique species. It also has the country’s largest wind farm.

“Burning diesel generates greenhouse gases and we are trying to reduce these in a sensible way. We hope to stop emitting 3,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year,” project manager Jose Moscoso said.

The project has received financial help from eight countries: the US, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Russia and Britain.

The Ecuadorian government will also promote hydrocarbon substitution programmes on the islands of Santa Cruz and Isabella, where solar, wind and biofuel energy would be used.

Located some 1,000 km from the South American mainland, facing the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, the islands were placed on the list of World Heritage Sites at Risk from Tourism and Foreign Species in 2007.

The archipelago has 13 main islands and 17 smaller islands. They were first declared a World Heritage Site by the UN Education Science and Culture Organisation (Unesco) in 1978. They have been protected as a nature reserve since 2001.

Last year, Correa declared a state of emergency on the island and restricted flights, tourism and residence permits. He said the project would boost the country’s wind power generation capacity.

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