Korea has helped Ecuador build a renewable energy source on the Galápagos Islands, a fruitful result of the two nations’ bilateral cooperation.
After four years of construction, a 1.5-megawatt solar energy power plant has now been completed in Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island in the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador.
The construction of a solar energy power plant on Santa Cruz Island in the Galápagos Islands is recently completed.
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa (right) and officials from both Korea and Ecuador inspect a monitor explaining the solar power plant’s operations.
Some 500 people, including Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Esteban Vintimilla and other officials from both Korea and Ecuador attended a ceremony to mark the completion of the solar power plant on December 22.
“I am very grateful to Korea’s support and cooperation,” said President Correa, adding that the solar power plant is a good example of Korea-Ecuador cooperation.
The Galápagos Islands are 973 kilometers west of the South American continent and consist of 19 islands. They became famous when Charles Darwin, the author of “The Origin of Species,” visited the islands in 1835 and examined and collected samples of a diverse range of plant and animal species.
In 1959, the Ecuadorian government designated 97.5 percent of the islands as a national park. UNESCO also added the islands to its World Heritage List in 1978. However, pollution and emissions resulting from a rapid rise in population on the islands has become a threat to the islands’ ecology. There were also difficulties in setting up an electricity supply.
In 2007, the Ecuadorian government came up with policies to reduce the use of fossil fuels to zero and to completely turn to renewable energy by 2020 in order to protect the islands’ ecology. In 2010, it asked the Korea International Cooperation Agency(KOICA) to build a solar power plant on the islands.
With the completion of the power plant, residents on the islands who used to depend on a 4.2-megawatt diesel power plant can now use electricity produced from renewable energy.
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa (fourth from left) and officials from both Korea and Ecuador attend a ceremony to mark the completion of a solar power plant on the Galápagos Islands.