Hello, this is Andrew Polich and I'm down at the Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana. It's got some amazing guitars, cars, and jewelry and I've never been to a resort this big. This place is huge! It sprawls about a half mile down the beach. And if you check it out on Google Maps, you'll see it's got more buildings and pools than you could shake a stick at. It's an ant colony human vacation activity.
So why am I so interested in the size of Hard Rock Punta Cana? Well, as an energy blogger and proud team member of Vittoria Energy Expedition, I'm always wondering what people are using their energy for and where they're getting it from.
I've been chatting with the staff and they say they're about 3,000 employees strong. With guests, the total population can balloon to upwards of 7,000 people.
I'm staying in an enormous hotel building--I mean, check out the size of this place --and it's one of twelve. In this June heat, each building is constantly cranking out air conditioning and each restaurant and bar have cold drinks ready to go--and the Hard Rock boasts 9 restaurants.
Hard Rock is also using electricity for all the lights and noise. This hotel's even got a fleet of electric golf carts running around the campus at all times for lazy tourists like me.
In terms of where Hard Rock is getting their energy, I don't know for sure but I'm betting it's fossil fuels. According to the CIA World Factbook, the Dominican Republic's electricity breakdown is 85% fossil fuel, 13% hydroelectric, and about 2% other renewables.
Resorts like Hard Rock are mini cities--remember, it can have 7,000 people running around during the busy season. If a place like this installed solar panels on its enormous building roofs, it could profoundly change energy demand in this region. And if other hotels and resorts that line the Dominican's beaches improved their energy production and consumption, they could change the country's energy profile.
In about a month, I'm going to be exploring energy projects in Cuba with my team at Vittoria Energy Expedition. Over the next decade or two, I imagine Cuba will be trending in the direction of the Dominican Republic and building out its tourist economy and resorts. Team Vittoria and I will be waiting to see if those resorts embrace the future.