100% electricity from the sun
On 29 October, 2012, Tokelau became the first country in the world to be producing one hundred percent of its electricity from a renewable source—the sun. Tokelau’s three diesel-driven power stations now stand unused and peacefully silent across the three atolls of this Pacific island territory. SPREP commends the government and people of Tokelau for seeing through their long held vision for energy self-reliance, while, at the same time, doing their part as citizens of the global community in reducing the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Tokelau stands a beacon to the rest of the world in how to reduce a country’s carbon footprint. Commitments of this nature define the approach of developing “Pacific solutions to Pacific problems” as we strive to address the impacts of climate change on our island nations. Tokelau is a New Zealand administered territory, comprising three small atolls, situated some 600 kilometres northwest of Samoa. These three atolls are home to just over 1,400 Tokelauans.
The atolls are Fakaofo, the closest to Samoa; Nukunonu; and Atafu, the furthest atoll, situated northwest of the group. Prior to the advent of the Tokelau Renewable Energy Project (TREP), the inhabitants of these three atolls used fossil fuel (diesel) power generators for their electricity needs. A typical Tokelauan home consumes between 5 and 14 kilowatt-hour (kWh) per day, accounting for an average demand for the country of 150 kilowatts per day. Based on this approximation, Tokelau emitted 1,695 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide per day when using diesel fuel for electricity generation. This translates to 620.5 metric tonnes of greenhouse gases emitted by Tokelau in one year for power generation.
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