New Zealand’s Tokelau Island has become a pioneer in solar energy by being the first completely solar powered territory on the planet. New Zealand has always been known for its environmentally sound policies, and this will become another feather in its cap. The island is made up of three coral reef atolls. Its 1500 odd inhabitants till now were using around 2,000 barrels of diesel every year to generate power. This method of power generation was proving very expensive for the island dwellers, bringing their diesel bills to over $825,000 every year.
However, thanks to the Tokelau Renewable Energy project, this island in the Pacific will now meet its energy demands entirely through solar energy. Earlier, a huge chunk of the development funds allotted for the small island were being eaten up by the power demand. This made the future of development in this remote island quite bleak. But due to this project, not only will they be able to cut costs but also have a cleaner source of energy generation. The initial cost of set up was around $8.5 million, which will be recovered in due course. Each of the three atolls of this island, namely Nukunonu, Fakaofo and Atafu have their own mini solar grid, thereby making them self reliant in the real sense.
The initial predictions for the solar power project estimated it to provide 90 percent of the energy requirements. It however, far exceeded the expectations and is capable of generating 150 percent of the energy needs. 4032 photovoltaic panels, 1344 batteries and 392 invertors are generating and supplying almost one Megawatt of electricity to the inhabitants. Such measures go a long way in reducing the long term carbon footprints and the success of this endeavor will surely inspire other nations to follow in this small island’s footsteps. Another interesting green initiative has been taken by King Abdullah of Jordon who is building a Star Trek theme park powered entirely by renewable energy.