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With help, small island states ditch diesel for cheaper, cleaner energy

September 1, 2015

With help, small island states ditch diesel for cheaper, cleaner energy

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Tue, 1 Sep 2015 09:41 GMT
Author: Megan Rowling

BARCELONA, Sept 1 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - After oil prices hit a record high in July 2008, the tiny Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands was forced to declare an economic emergency since around 90 percent of its energy needs were met by imported petroleum products.

The fuel price shock was a major incentive for the low-lying island country to reduce its reliance on diesel and other fossil fuels, and expand renewable energy instead.

Now 99 percent of lighting on its outer islands is powered by solar, street lamps and water pumps also run on the sun, and solar energy is being fed into the otherwise diesel-powered grids on the main urban islands.

In its national contribution to a new global climate change deal now under negotiation, the Marshall Islands outlined in July more ambitious renewable energy measures for the future.

They include small-scale wind-power, expanding coconut oil production for use in electricity and transport fuel, introducing electric vehicles and solar-charged lagoon transport, and improving energy efficiency with pre-paid meters and heat recovery.

The planned steps are expected to replace more than one-third of fossil fuels for electricity and transport by 2030, helping meet emissions reduction goals of 32 percent by 2025 and 45 percent by 2030.

Read more at Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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