The 70 square-mile island of Aruba is on track to become the world’s first sustainable energy economy and achieving the goal of running on 100 per cent sustainable energy by 2020.
In recent years, sustainability efforts within the travel industry have progressed from a niche consideration to an industry-wide priority.
Following efforts to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and CO2 emissions, Aruba built the Vader Piet Windmill Farm in winter of 2009.
Located on the island’s northern coast are ten, 180-meter high wind turbines that currently produce 20 per cent 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.
Professor Daniel Schrag, director of the Center for Environmental Studies at Harvard University and member of the Advisory Council on Science and Technology to President Obama explained: “Few places in the world approach 50 per cent renewable energy use, and Aruba could soon be at nearly 40 per cent with a second wind farm.”
The island’s constant supply of sun, eastern trade winds and ocean currents allow for research and field-testing of renewable energy technologies.
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.
The partnership will transition the island to 100 per cent renewable energy while eliminating any reliance on fossil fuels and will create a model for other countries to replicate.