Maldives turns to wind

2009-11-03 07:59

  • Environment
    This volume of "The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture" surveys the dynamic environmental forces... Now R886.00
    buy now

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

/Dewani Trial

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?


Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. 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


There is an easy social flow and the need to blend in, yet you may not feel entirely comfortable. Something beneath the 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.