Ecuadorian Government seeks sustainable economy for Galapagos | March 24th, 2008

President Rafael Correa has outlined plans to develop an alternative strategy with the object of providing all the power needs of the people of Galapagos from renewable resources, primarily wind and solar. The plan will be funded by the G8 countries. This is good news, although it does not really impact upon the major problems facing the conservation effort, especially the impact of alien species.

Source: El Universo, Guayaquil

As a first step, three 800mw wind turbines have been built on San Cristobal. While wind turbines are clearly very valuable as energy producers, they can also cause bird fatalities, especially as the Galapagos Petrel Pteradroma galapagensis nests in the highlands, flying in after dark and leaving before dawn. While the turbines have been sited to minimise any possible impact, monitoring will be put in place to make sure that there is no significant problem. The birds nest during the Garua season (June-November) when the turbines are likely to be most active. When operating at full capacity the turbines will supply 50% of the energy needs of the island, however from December through April they will often be stationary due to lack of wind.

Source: El Commercio, Quito.