Solar power plants and coconut biofuel-powered generators will be switched on in Tokelau next week as the three-atoll administered region of New Zealand gears up to become the ‘the world’s first truly renewable nation.’ The renewable energy system comprising of solar panels, storage batteries and generators running on biofuel derived from coconut will generate enough electricity to meet 150% of the islands’ power demand.
These systems are part of the Tokelau Renewable Energy Project that has been funded by the New Zealand government and represents one of the largest off-grid renewable energy projects in the world. With this project, the islands will make the transition from being completely dependent on imported fuels to being completely energy independent.
Tokelau spends about $820,000 every year to import fuels. The government of Tokelau now plans to spend these savings on other essential services like health and education. The savings will also be used to repay the grants and financial assistance the government received for this project.