By Stephen Leahy*
TORONTO, Feb 29 (Tierramérica) – Ecuador has taken the first step towards ending the oil dependence of its Galápagos Islands, in the eastern Pacific Ocean, with the official opening of a 10.8 million dollar wind energy facility on the island of San Cristóbal.
Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa toured the facility as part of a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Galápagos, and proposed to declare the islands fossil fuel free by 2015.
Located 1,000 kilometres off the coast of Ecuador, the archipelago comprises 17 small and 13 large islands that are home to 30,000 people and visited by more than 120,000 tourists each year.
Nearly everything is imported from the mainland, including vast quantities of diesel fuel for energy and transport. In 2001, a tanker ship struck a reef off the coast of San Cristóbal, one of the main islands, spilling 150,000 gallons of fuel into the ocean. Continue reading