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Galapagos: A Microcosm of Sustainable Energy Mix in Fragile Environments

Chapter
Part of the Social and Ecological Interactions in the Galapagos Islands book series (SESGI)

Abstract

The Galapagos Islands are an oceanic archipelago separated by around 1000 km from the closest land area, the mainland of Ecuador. This archipelago houses a high number of endemic species unique in the world. With 95% of the endemic animals and plants still present, the Galapagos can also be considered one of the best conserved archipelagoes of the world. Diverse ocean currents, some of which like the Cromwell Subequatorial Current and Humboldt or Peruvian Current, are cold and nutrient rich and are associated with upwelling cells. Others like the Panama Current carry warm waters. These currents produce in a relatively small space contrasting conditions of temperature and precipitation and generate a unique set of conditions that allow for the presence of the characteristic flora and fauna. Many of the islands have tall volcanoes reaching more than 1000 m above sea level trapping the clouds and the moisture; the different altitudinal levels that produce diverse ecological zones constitute an opportunity for divergent adaptations. Historically, energy has played a major role in the economic development of the fishing industry and settlement of the Islands. Growing tourism pressure on both land and marine environments and population growth on expansion in local communities are increasing energy demand. However, increasing diesel fuel dependency risks greater environment risk and economic costs.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Universidad San Francisco de QuitoQuitoEcuador

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