One Island Nation in the Pacific to Power Itself on Solar

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The New Zealand territory, Tokelau is now 100% energy-independent, thanks to its new solar power energy systems.

Tokelau is a territory of New Zealand in the Pacific Ocean. In all, there are about 1,500 citizens of Tokelau. The islands that make up the territory just finished a solar energy project that makes it the first completely energy-independent territory or nation in the world.

The islands got financial support for the project from the New Zealand government. The New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCullay said, “Until now, Tokelau has been 100 percent dependent on diesel for electricity generation, with heavy economic and environmental costs.”

CNET author Eric Mack pointed out that most rural or isolated areas (e.g. the remote Alaskan village he lived in) use diesel fuel exclusively. The cost of the fuel and the cost to have it flown in every day is an incredible burden on these communities. Additionally, the diesel generators many isolated towns and villages use are noisy and smelly. Not a great addition to any neighborhood.

Samsung recently tried to power a South African school on solar power alone. The U.S. Department of Defense is looking into solar panels for some of its projects, and the Navy wants to spend $500 million USD to install a solar power system on its Hawaiian bases. Tonga, near the Tokelau islands, is also planning on implementing a solar power solution for its residents. By 2015, the country of Tonga wants 50% of its power to come from solar solutions. The Cook Islands want 100% power from solar by 2020.

To read more about green technology, read about the Fibernet data center upgrade to make it more environmentally friendly.

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