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Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are increasingly popular as tourism destinations, but they’re often susceptible to the effects of climate change, including rising oceans and freak weather occurrences. Coupled with the high cost of providing reliable electricity, many hotels, resorts and indeed whole islands are turning to renewable energy options to help reduce their overheads and reduce their carbon footprints.
A case in point is the Anvaya Cove Beach and Nature Club, owned by Ayala Land Inc and based in the Philippines. Set on a beautiful beach north of the City of Manila, the resort is committed to protecting and preserving the area's natural environment in all its operations, and on-site renewable energy is its flagship initiative. The resort’s clean energy is conserving resources, and attracting the attention of eco-conscious guests.
Earlier this year a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA - an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future) noted that tourism is an important economic driver for island economies, but is highly dependent on a reliable, affordable and environmentally friendly energy supply.
Currently, energy supplies in islands are dominated by fossil fuels, in particular oil products making them vulnerable to the volatility of oil prices. Energy dependent hotels are primarily powered by electricity produced by diesel generators, but the high price of diesel fuel results in commercial electricity tariffs that are far higher than the global average.
The report looked at a range of renewable energy solutions including solar hot water and air conditioning, solar PV and sea water air con, and concluded that renewable programmes offered good economic benefits due to reduced energy costs, as well as additional gains by attracting eco-friendly travellers who are often willing to pay a premium for sustainable tourism experiences.
It suggested the wellbeing of island communities would be improved through the reduction of air and water pollution from fossil fuel combustion and spillages, as well as through the creation of additional employment opportunities for the installation, operation and maintenance of RETs.
Taking the lead in the wake of this evidence, Anvaya Cove Beach and Nature Club installed a hybrid wind and solar system to meet all of their energy requirements.
With abundant sun and wind resources, and the Philippines being one of the fastest growing ‘cleantech’ markets, with a plethora of government incentives to expand the use of renewable energy that benefits the environment, the system was a natural choice.
Ayala Land Inc. worked with Urban Green Energy (UGE) and local partner Orion Group International Inc. to design the system. The result is a custom wind and solar energy system that fits the property's renewable energy needs. The solar component generates the majority of energy, while the power generated by the turbines adds an extra layer of security to ensure that Anvaya Cove never runs out of electricity. The energy is completely emission-free, preserving the pristine environment around the resort.
"Anvaya Cove is located within beautiful surroundings that we want to preserve for years to come. We took a consultative approach to understand the energy challenges of the resort and then tailored-made a solution that fit their exact needs" said Sandeep Sharma of UGE. "The installation at Anvaya Cove is great example of how easy it is for any resort or leisure community to adopt renewable energy."
This type of project is extremely feasible for other island resorts where cost of diesel is high and natural conditions make renewable energy an attractive option. In many cases, financing plans are available so that hotel owners can pay a fixed monthly rate for the energy used, without any upfront installation costs.
Renewable energy systems are also eye catching, providing aesthetic value to guests, demonstrating a commitment to sustainability, and reducing dependence on the unreliable electrical grid. The IRENA report found that renewable energy technology can drive new business and increase occupancy rates.
“Ayala Land, Inc., is blazing the trail for wholly sustainable premium developments in the country,” said Engr. Rynor G. Jamandre, Vice-President for Orion Group International Inc. “This sustainable practice has allowed the entry of new technology into the Philippines as more and more people are now looking towards environmentally responsible sources of energy.”
With a bright future for renewable energy in the Philippines, this project marks the start of many cleantech projects to come. Ayala Land Inc. is already in the process of expanding the programme to their other properties in the region, and are promoting the system to guests at Anvaya Cove.
Anvaya Cove’s other sustainability measures include: