Copyright ©2017 Green Matters. All rights reserved.
This Hotel In One Of The Driest Deserts In The World Runs On Solar Power

In October, a hotel in the northern Chile town of San Pedro called Tierra Atacama announced that they were going fully solar, and shutting down all its diesel generators. That's significant because the hotel is located by the Atacama desert, which is one of the driest places in the world. Switching fully to solar energy is the logical conclusion for the region.

National Geographic reports that the panels were designed by a german company called Kraftwerk, who have used improved lithium ion batteries to create an energy source that will be capable of generating enough power for the hotel to keep them going all day. They need about 100 kWh to run at capacity, but the new solar panels generate about 156 kWh every day, which means the excess power will keep things running at night as well.

Chilean Oasis . The Atacama Desert is one of the driest parts of the world. After exploring this region I’m feeling like parchment paper. . While trekking through the dusty altitudes of S America is one of the world’s great adventures, relaxing in a little luxury makes for a perfect balance. . Tierra Hotels Atacama Boutique Hotel hosted myself and Sherry from @ottsworld while we stayed in Northern Chile. It was dreamy, comfy, and the food was perfection every day. . Oh! And they make a Pisco Sour that is specifically to the area which meant it was infused with a local, smoky, sage-like herb called Rica Rica. Perfect for sipping while laying around by the pool. . Have you been to the Atacama yet?? . . . . . #Hosted #tierraatacama #Atacama #atacamachile #VisitChile #ChileTravelRepost #ricaricasour #natgeolodges #Iamatraveler #luxury #hotel #travel #desertlife #igtravel #cleverdever #discoversouthamerica

A post shared by Juliana Dever (@cleverdever) on

The Chilean government is deeply interested in the project at Atacama, because much of the country is reliant on old energy infrastructure, with many remote locations who can't connect to the grid reliant on diesel generators. Many would like to see the diesel replaced with greener energy options, but the lithium batteries are not without their issues. The batteries are distributed by foreign companies, like Samsung, but a lot of lithium mining goes on in Chile itself.

Locals fear that mining will disrupt towns (which have been moved completely to make way for mining in the past), and will also potentially damage the desert eco-system. But many also welcome potential jobs that could come from such industry. The conflict is a welcome reminder that cleaner solutions don't necessarily escape leaving a negative imprint on the planet and in people's lives.

However, on a smaller scale, Tierra Atacama is concentrating on making their operation more sustainable. They plan to end plastic use at the hotel, and replace bottled water with reusable containers and filtered liquid from the the local aquifer.

#panelessolares #tierraatacama

A post shared by @miguelportillok2 on

If it works at Atacama, it could potentially work in many other regions of Chile that experience consistent dry and sunny weather. But it will take concerted effort and communication to produce solar panels and batteries that serve the needs of all Chilean people.

FoodNew 'Spoiler Alert' App Works To Minimize Food Waste

Spoiler Alert is a new company that creates software to connect organizations like food producers, food banks, and pantries. This system allows everyone to communicate in real time and keep food waste down by getting it to the right people quickly. 

7 days ago
LivingThis Beautiful Blue Town Is Majorly Investing In Green Living

Chefchaouen is a town in Morocco that is being lauded for its efforts towards sustainability and green living, which pair perfectly with its tourism business. 

7 days ago
NewsGreen 'Smart' Wall Humidifies And Purifies Air Indoors

In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the workplace, we need a much better plant-life balance than most of us have. Naava, a Finland startup, created a smart green wall that not only helps this, but takes away the responsibilities of maintenance.

7 days ago
LivingNew Eco-Friendly Pod Bridges Gap Between Cars And Bikes

The Podbike offers an alternative to cars and traditional bikes with a weather protection air cabin and high tech comfort features, making it both a sustainable and practical choice for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

2 weeks ago
Stay Green
Sign up for our daily newsletter