Pacific Island Sets Renewable Energy Record
Tokelau, a small Polynesian territory in the central Pacific, has surpassed the rest of the world in replacing fossil fuels and raised the benchmark of achievement on sustainable development.Solar energy installation on the atoll of Nukunonu in Tokelau. Credit: PowerSmart
Located north of Samoa, the three atolls, home to 1,411 people, will claim a world record when they switch to 150 percent renewable energy - sourced primarily from solar power - next week.
“Our commitment as global citizens is to make a positive contribution towards the mitigation of the impacts of climate change,” Jovilisi Suveinakama, general manager of the National Public Service of the Government of Tokelau, in Apia, Samoa, told IPS.
“We are proud of this achievement. We congratulate and encourage other countries in the Pacific (to take) the same path.” Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo atolls, which are administered by New Zealand, are three to five metres above sea level and comprise a total land area of 12 square kilometres.
The territory’s energy requirements for electricity, domestic use and transportation have hitherto been met by imported fossil fuels, costing the tiny country roughly 819,500 dollars per year.