100% Renewable Energy by 2020:Tuvalu's Bold New Green Power Goal

tuvalu solar power array photo

Photo: e8
Tuvalu may be among those Pacific island nations first affected by climate change, but that hasn't stopped it from setting a bold new renewable energy target of 100% clean power by 2020. Kickstarting that effort is a (relatively) new solar power system, which supplies 5% of Funafuti's, the nation's capital, electricity:
tuvalu map image
The 40 kilowatt system is installed on the roof of Tuvalu's largest football stadium, and is the first grid-connected solar power system in the nation. In the first 14 months of its operation the array has replaced the need to import about 4,500 gallons of diesel fuel and reduced the nation's carbon footprint by 50 tons.

$20 Million Needed to be Carbon Neutral
To reach the nation's 100% renewable energy goal will require an estimated $20 million -- the first $800,000 of which will be spent on a 46 kilowatt solar power system on the Motufoua Secondary School in Vaitupu.

The whole plan has been facilitated through the work of the e8 -- a non-profit international organization made up of 10 leading electric companies from the G8 nations -- which donated and installed the first solar power array.

Most of the Nation Less Than Three Feet Above Sea Level
To put all of this in perspective, Tuvalu has a population of about 12,000 people (only Vatican City and Nauru have fewer people) and has a total land mass of just 10 square miles in size, spread out over several islands. Its highest point is a bit under 15' above sea level, with most of the island being less than 3' above the rising waters of the Pacific.

So basically, if sea level rise predictions bear out, by the end of the 21st century there's a strong likelihood that much of the nation will be uninhabitable.

Tuvalu map: Wikipedia
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