The capital Oranjestad | Photo credit: David et Magalie from Vancouver, Canada
Photo credit: Aruba Tourism Authority
100% Renewable Energy, Petroleum Free System As Part of Initiative to Combat Climate Change
Island of Aruba, Carribean, Netherlands Antilles
Aruba is an island off the coast of Venezuela that is home to 110,000 people with an additional 30,000 tourists on average at a given time. On June 20, 2012, the government of Aruba and the Carbon War Room, a global entrepreneur initiative to combat climate change founded by Sir Richard Branson, announced their partnership to transition the 70 square mile/180 square kilometer island to 100% renewable energy. The project will also be supported by the New America Foundation, which is working to help integrate and implement the bold plan and make it part of an economy-wide transition.
As of the time of the announcement, Aruba already had been generating approximately 20% of its electricity with wind power, with several solar projects in development. The preliminary action plan covers the following sectors:
Transportation: Implement new low-emission technologies and emission-reduction strategies and create world-class walkable destinations for tourists and residents;
Energy Efficiency: Incentivize household retrofit and commercial energy efficiency;
Water Minimization: Water minimization measures for industry and households (Aruba desalinates 100 percent of its water);
Renewable Energy: Implement smart-grid and commercially-viable renewable generation technologies to replace high priced imported petroleum; Tourism: Implement a sustainable approach to smart growth in the tourism sector to create an inspirational holiday destination;
Agriculture: Create an agriculture sector in Aruba that makes the best use of water resources and that supports the shift to locally grown food as much as possible, as the island typically imports 100% of its food.
The Carbon War Room has made Aruba part of the organization's Smart Island Economy program. The hope is that top-tier companies and philanthropic contributions will assist Aruba in reaching its 100% renewable energy goal and that success will make it a model for other islands.