Step by step, the Caribbean islands are taking note of and taking steps to clean up carbon emissions and to harness the natural energy of the region.
Notable examples are St. Kitts, which has installed solar panels at its airport, and Nevis, which plans to harness its geothermal underground resources to power homes and business on the island.
Now comes Aruba’s contribution. The island already gets 15% of its energy from wind farms. Now it has unveiled the first long-range, all-electric, zero-emissions bus in the Caribbean.
The island’s goal is to become completely energy-independent, so the plan calls for four more of the 40-foot-long buses by 2014, followed by 16 more in service before 2020, according to Otmar Oduber, transportation minister.
“Aruba is a front-runner in the Caribbean in the area of sustainability, and the buses are part of the government’s vision to harness our natural wind power to generate electricity for all of our public transportation vehicles,” Oduber said.
There’s a cost-savings factor, as well. The buses will cost Aruba 60% less than fuel-driven buses over the course of their lifetime of service.