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  1. #1
    Neo
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    Coconuts and sunshine will power South Pacific islands

    Coconuts and sunshine will power South Pacific islands


    Coconuts and sunshine will soon provide all the electricity demands of the South Pacific islands of Tokelau.

    Foua Toloa, Tokelau’s leader, announced this week that by the middle of next year solar energy will supply 93 per cent of Tokelau’s electricity – the rest will come from coconut oil. Motor vehicles and some cooking devices will still use fossil fuels, but renewables will power most of the nation’s technology.

    Tokelau, which consists of three small Pacific atolls administered by New Zealand, is home to around 1500 people. Its highest point is 5 metres above sea level, making the territory vulnerable to rising waters caused, ultimately, by fossil fuel burning.

    Apart from solar energy supplying a few houses and buildings, Tokelau relies on fossil fuels for its power. Each atoll uses around 200 litres of fuel per day, including kerosene, gasoline and natural gas, which must be transported from New Zealand.

    By mid-2012, each island’s electricity grid will be powered by solar photovoltaic cells, with batteries to store excess electricity for the night. During periods of thick cloud cover or when electricity demand exceeds solar supply, a purpose-built generator that runs on coconut oil will supply power and simultaneously recharge the battery bank.
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"

  2. #2
    Mid
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    sounds good however I'd like to see the figures .................

    suspect the demand is nowhere near the average of an industrialised nation and thus the story is an abnormality

  3. #3
    Neo
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    Only 1500 inhabitants, and certainly as a response to sea level change through global warming it's impact is virtually zero, but as an local environmental and commercial issue it is of interest for the many other tropical islands that rely heavily on fuel imports.

    If they can achieve 95% of their electric that would be astounding, and if larger populations can provide a significant proportion of their electric by following the example it would be a great benefit to small independent economies.

    And besides... I thought the title was pretty neat.

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