Bonaire, a Caribbean island of reputed beauty and charm, is about to become a first of its kind – as of 2009, it will have completed the first and most important step toward being completely powered by sustainable energy.
Bonaire has often been referred to as one of the best diving destinations in the world. Unlike many other Caribbean islands, it has not yet been ‘discovered’ in the true sense of the word. Even though tourism is the major source of income, visitors do not come in hoards and there is still a very pleasant intimate atmosphere about. What makes Bonaire truly exceptional is the island’s attitude toward environment. Soon, it is to be powered by 100% sustainable energy.
The ambitious project took several years to complete. A new energy system was launched, featuring an 11MW wind farm, 14MW biodiesel plant and a 3MW backup battery. The first wind turbine has already been installed and another 12 are about to be put in place. All together, these turbines are estimated to create nearly 44% of the island’s energy. The biodiesel fuel will be produced from algae and the plant is expected to generate the remaining 56% of energy. If everything goes according to plan, within five years, the island will be entirely powered by sustainable energy.
The island authorities are proud of their achievement. Protecting the environment is becoming a very crucial part of our future and Bonaire sets the perfect example. The island itself features a very unique natural environment. The coral reefs help preserve an exceptionally rich marine life and scuba diving in local waters is an unforgettable experience. Windsurfing, kiteboarding, mountain biking, mangrove kayaking or nature-themed tours are only a few examples of the diversity of the island’s potential. A considerable part of the island is a protected natural park and local population of flamingos also belongs to the many highlights of the wonderful Bonaire.