Island of Tokelau to be World’s First Fully Solar-Powered Nation

Posted by on August 3, 2012 in Climate Change, Eco-Friendly with 0 Comments

(NBC News) A project to convert the tiny island nation of Tokelau to all solar power is nearing fruition, as workers finish the first of three major panel arrays. Once activated, the installations should provide more than 90 percent of the power used by the islands’ 1,711 residents.

Tokelau is a remote nation northeast of New Zealand comprising three atolls, to which goods and passengers can only travel by boat. Their electricity needs, though modest, are met by burning diesel fuel in generators. The transportation of the nearly 2,000 barrels of fuel consumed each year costs the population around a million dollars — a heavy toll.

The three solar arrays will generate about a megawatt in total, and batteries will keep the lights on at times when Tokelau’s citizens previously could not afford to run generators. They are designed to withstand the humid and windy tropical environment, and actually produce a surplus of power, meaning the population can expand without taxing the system.

“We would expect this system to repay itself in five years, and have a 20-year project life before it needs any sort of significant maintenance,” the director of Powersmart, the company that built the arrays, told 3 News in New Zealand.

The roughly nine million New Zealand dollars (around $7.3 million US) needed to plan and build the installations was taken out in loans from the New Zealand government and contributed by the U.N. Development Programme.

When the installations are switched on in September, fossil fuels will only be necessary for the three cars maintained by the country. Other countries and territories in the area, motivated by high fuel costs, plentiful sun, and relatively small populations, are also working on going all-renewable. Tuvalu, Samoa, and the Cook Islands may soon be the second, third, and fourth countries to rely almost entirely on solar power.

Photo: h080

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the stories on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use' must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.

Send this to friend