How Richard Branson Is Making Necker Island Green

Above: solar panels on Necker Island (Photo: Owen Buggy)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Sir Richard Branson is continuing his push for sustainable energy in the Caribbean, and the Caribbean resident is putting his money where his mouth is.

Branson has been on a drive to make his private Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands more green, following his regional call for sustainable energy development.

Branson has been perhaps the region’s most high-profile advocate for green energy, working with the Carbon War Room and the Rocky Mountain Institute to help regional stakeholders identify the region’s optimal energy future.

Last year, he convened a high-level regional conference on Necker that launched the “Ten Island Challenge,” which called for massive investment in green energy development in signatory countries, which ranged from Aruba to Colombia.

But his latest efforts have been close to home on Necker.

Branson has revealed a project that switched on a solar energy system on Necker, a project Branson says should provide diesel savings of more than 75 percent.

That project consisted of 1232 photovoltaic solar panels.

But Branson isn’t finished.

Now he has plans for wind turbines and batteries slated to come on line on Necker November.

“We’re aiming to turn Necker into one of the most renewably-powered islands in the world,” he wrote.

“We understand that we’re in a unique position, but so is the Caribbean as a whole. We can all benefit from the positive environmental, social and economic impacts of sustainability,” he said. “The small islands of the Caribbean may be highly vulnerable to climate change risks, but they have wonderful potential to be global leaders in climate change action,” he wrote.