Tokelau commits to 100 percent solar power

• November 14, 2012
Solar Panel

Creative Commons: Mike Baker, 2009

The island nation of Tokelau switched on the third and final installment of its new solar energy grid last week, earning praise around the world as the first country to become entirely solar-powered—except it’s not a country.

Made up of three tiny tropical atolls – a few specks in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean – Tokelau is a dependent territory of New Zealand, whose government’s international aid and development programme advanced the $7 million to fund the project, aimed at replacing Tokelau’s diesel-powered energy grid.

“Electricity expenses make up a huge portion of their budget in Tokelau, which makes it hard for them to invest and look toward the future, so there’s a very clear financial argument for this system,” said Michael Bassett-Smith, managing director of Powersmart Solar, New Zealand’s largest solar power company, which directed the project.

Now, as a result of the project, “not only does the New Zealand aid programme save money from not having to import diesel, but Tokelau has a very clear sense of the price of their energy.”

Read more: Alternet.org >>


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