for the first time in human history a country receives 100 of its electricity from the sun


Published on December 12th, 2012


For the first time in human history, a country receives 100% of its electricity from the Sun

Tokelau, South Pacific nation composed of several atolls, can be powered entirely by solar energy, becoming the first nation that manages this. First time in human history, a country receives 100% of its electricity from the Sun.

A solar project with a total capacity of one megawatt was completed on the three atolls, this offers the 1400 inhabitants of the country 150% of electricity demand. Tokelau Renewable Energy Project consists of 4,032 solar panels and 1344 batteries powered by generators using bio-diesel from coconuts, one of the largest solar projects on Earth.

The project cost $ 7.5 million, a huge amount compared to the tiny nation’s GDP, which is only $ 300,000. However, officials announced savings because they no longer have to import petrol and diesel at high costs.

The original plan was that this project will generate only 93% of the electricity needed, the rest is produced by burning coconut oil. But panels can generate 150% of the energy needs of those in Tokelau, so coconut oil will only be used if cloudy days and in emergency situations.

The total capacity of the network in Tokelau was estimated at 1,400 megawatt-hour, reducing by more than 950 tons of annual carbon dioxide emissions. Even though Tokelau not contribute greatly to emissions of greenhouse gases, global warming is acute for residents of these atolls. Like other islands in the Pacific, Tokelau is threatened by rising oceans. Certain parts of the island could survive rising waters, but drinking water sources are already contaminated with salt water due to rising sea levels.

Tokelau is not an independent country but a territory of New Zealand that consists of 3 coral atolls halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii. Nation area not exceeding 10 square kilometers and the population is only 1,400 people. Economy depends on trade with stamps and Internet sites - in 2012, one-sixth of GDP was due to sales related to .tk websites.


Following the economy of small financial assistance Tokelau depends on New Zealand. Because Tokelau spent over $ 800,000 annually on importation of fuel for generators, solar panels are an important step toward energy independence. This will allow the nation to become autonomous, with the ability to govern (except issues among foreign policy has to remain in charge of New Zealand).

Other countries obtain much of their energy from renewable sources are Paraguay (which is characterized by the large number of hydroelectric dams) and Iceland (geothermal and hydroelectric).

Sources: Wired, PowerSmartSolar

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