Tokelau islands shift to solar energy

Solar grids at the The Tokelau Renewable Energy Project Solar energy is to replace diesel to power Tokelau's electricity

Related Stories

Tokelau has become the first territory able to meet all its electricity needs with solar power, officials say.

The South Pacific territory - comprising the three atolls of Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo - had been dependent on diesel to generate electricity.

New Zealand, which administers Tokelau, funded a $7m (£4.3m) solar project.

Solar grids were constructed on the three atolls, with the last completed earlier this week.

"The Tokelau Renewable Energy Project is a world first. Tokelau's three main atolls now have enough solar capacity, on average, to meet electricity needs," New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said in a statement.

"Until now, Tokelau has been 100% dependent upon diesel for electricity generation, with heavy economic and environmental costs," he added.

Project co-ordinator, and PowerSmart MD, Mike Basset-Smith said that the move represented a "milestone of huge importance" for Tokelau, as it would now be able to spend more on social welfare.

The remote islands of Tokelau lie between New Zealand and Hawaii.

Most of the 1,500 islanders live by subsistence farming, with thousands of others choosing to settle in New Zealand or neighbouring Samoa.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Asia stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Dana Lone HillDana Lone Hill

    The Native American names that break Facebook rules


  • Painting from Rothschild collectionDark arts Watch

    The 50-year fight to recover paintings looted by the Nazis


  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back


  • Signposts showing the US and UK flagsAn ocean apart

    How British misunderstanding of the US is growing


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • StudentsBull market

    Employers are snapping up students with this desirable degree

Programmes

  • Former al-Qaeda double agent Aimen DeanHARDtalk Watch

    Islamic State is about revenge says former al-Qaeda member turned spy Aimen Dean

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.