Maldives turns to wind

2009-11-03 07:59

New Delhi - The Maldives announced plans on Monday to build a wind farm that can supply 40% of its electricity as part of the low-lying archipelago's pledge to become the world's first carbon neutral nation.

The plan is intended to spur other countries to make similar commitments to renewable energy and to cutting emissions of greenhouse gases, President Mohamed Nasheed told The Associated Press.

"What we are trying to do is say that renewable energy works," Nasheed said. "I'm saying it can be done everywhere."

The archipelago, the world's lowest lying nation and at substantial threat from rising sea levels, has become an important voice in the fight against climate change ahead of international talks in Copenhagen next month.

The nation of 1 192 coral islands is heavily dependent on oil imports to fuel generators and is increasingly reliant on energy-intensive desalination plants.

The $200m wind project, to be built by General Electric by mid-2011, will create a farm of 30 large wind turbines 65km north of the capital, Male, government officials said. It was not clear if the turbines would be on land or on the sea bed.

The farm will supply 75 megawatts of electricity, roughly 40% of the country's needs, and cut overall carbon emissions by 25%, according to Chris Goodall, a British environmental activist and researcher.

Underwater cables will connect the wind farm with Male, where more than 100 000 people live, and surrounding islands, as well as 24 resort islands, according to Falcon Energy, which is managing the project.

Liquefied natural gas plant

Excess energy will be diverted to a desalination plant, and a liquefied natural gas plant will provide backup power for less windy days.

Nasheed, 42, has pledged to make the country of 350 000 people carbon neutral within a decade and said the government is studying the viability of other forms of renewable energy, including hydropower and solar power.

Carbon dioxide, produced by the burning of fossil fuels, is one of the main greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

Since winning the Maldives' first democratic election last year, Nasheed, 42, has worked to highlight his nation's plight.

He said his government will put aside money to buy land abroad should his country be swamped by rising sea levels, and his Cabinet held an underwater meeting to raise awareness of the issue.

However, critics from the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party, which ruled the Maldives for 30 years, say Nasheed's efforts to bring climate change awareness are sending the wrong message.

"When the head of state comes and says, 'I want another land to escape to,' it's not good news for investors," said Abdulla Mausoom, secretary general of the opposition party.

- AP

Read more on:    maldives  |  environment  |  climate change

Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24


Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9360

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone comes preloaded with Blackberry OS7...

From R1595.00

I'm shopping for:


You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.