Most of us are familiar with the idea of solar energy, but some may not realize how much of a difference it can make within the travel industry. Hotels and resorts use an enormous amount of energy to accommodate travelers from all over the world. Using solar energy not only makes these places more eco friendly, it also encourages further sustainable travel. Keep reading to find out how solar energy is taking the travel industry by storm.
So what is sustainable renewable energy? It’s energy that is collected from renewable sources, meaning those which are naturally replenished. These include renewable energy sources such as solar from sunlight, wind, water from rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. These are all natural resources that many tourism establishments have easy access to.
If you are interested in staying at resorts that support sustainable travel initiatives, then looking for resorts that use solar energy is a great place to start. You may not realize that tourism, as one of the largest economic global industries, is also one of the largest energy-consuming industries. It should also be mentioned that the consequences of the tourism industry not utilizing renewable energy will seriously impact a business, industry and world in years to come.
Solar energy is a major player in the fight for the tourism industry to use more renewable energy sources. ‘Photovoltaics’ (or PV) is the conversion of light into electricity using semi-conducting materials. A typical photovoltaic system uses solar panels, each comprising a number of solar cells, which generate the electrical power.
Solar PV generates no pollution and emits no greenhouse gasses once installed. Cells don’t need direct sunlight to work, only daylight, and they can still generate electricity on a cloudy day.
Resorts that are using solar energy
The Kudadoo Maldives Private Island Resort opened in 2018 with overwater bungalows fully powered by renewable solar energy. With renewable energy in mind, the architect of the project says that the 320-kilowatt-peak (kWp) capacity of the roof system is enough to power the entire resort. Not only that, but the solar energy system will recoup its cost after five years of use. How amazing is that? Other sustainable design touches include gaps between the panels to allow filtered interior daylighting and an extensive canopy overhang for shading, both of these aim to minimize power use.
Waianuhea Eco Resort, Hawaii
The romantic and affordable, Waianuhea Eco Resort is a hideaway on the Big Island Of Hawaii that offers fantastic views over the pacific ocean and surrounding hills. A comprehensive Photovoltaic (PV) or solar energy system provides all the necessary power, and the water supply is sourced from the lodge itself. The lodge is 100% grid free, and uses organically grown produce in its compost-fed garden. They also use locally sourced materials in the spa and bathrooms and promote sustainability wherever possible.
Campi Ya Kanzi, Kenya
The award-winning boutique eco-lodge, Campi Ya Kanzi, in the Chyulu Hills of southern Kenya, only uses renewable energy, with Photovoltaic or solar energy panels (PV) for electricity and solar boilers for hot water, contributing to minimizing their carbon footprint. This lodge has won the prestigious World Legacy Award, World Savers Award, and Eco Tourism award among others. Energy consumption is measured and monitored on a monthly basis, with sub-meters in all guest rooms. Carbon footprint zero is achieved at Campi Ya Kanzi.
If you want to travel more sustainably in an attempt to help the tourism industry with the renewable energy crisis, staying at a solar energy resort or hotel is a great start. Staying at these places will help offset your carbon footprint and encourage others to do so can make a world of difference.
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