Maldives, one of the most beautiful nations on earth, held the artistic, theatrical event of an underwater government meeting last month, to try to bring more attention to the threats of climate change. Now, they are getting more practical but still grabbing headlines — they are looking to build a wind farm that will generate 40% of the island nation’s electricity needs.
The wind farm plans were announced earlier this week. The project will include 30 turbines and is expected to provide the nation with 75 MW of power, powering the capital city, their international airport, and more!
The wind farm will cost $200 million. It will be built by Falcon Energy, who has built 1.5 GW worth of wind farms (onshore and offshore) in Europe and Canada within the last ten years. Their contract for this project is for the next 20 years.
When Will It be Up? What Will It Power?
The wind farm should be provide Maldives’ capital, Malé, its airport (Malé International Airport), and 24 resorts with all of their electricity. That is not all, though. “Surplus power will be used to run an energy-intensive desalination plant that will produce bottled water from the sea.”
According to BusinessGreen, “GE Energy will supply wind turbines to the project after conducting a year-long feasibility study. The government said the turbines will be erected at Gaafaru island, 65km north of Malé, and be connected to the capital’s electricity grid via underwater cables.”
Maldives May be the First to Go, If We Don’t Stop Climate Change
Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed says they are doing this project because “We are doing this because we have an environmental conscience and it is economical to do so.”
However, basically, the archipelago of nearly 2,000 islands and 400,000 inhabitants may be the first to go underwater if climate change isn’t controlled. A UN study shows that much of Maldives could be underwater by 2100.
Maybe more countries (i.e. the United States) would be more concerned about this issue if we might be completely submerged in less than 100 years.
Maldives is not the biggest player in the climate change discussions, but it is making sure to grab headlines before the big, upcoming climate change meeting in Copenhagen.
Image Credit 1: 350.org via flickr under a Creative Commons license
Image Credit 2: millzero via flickr under a Creative Commons license
Image Credit 3: 350.org via flickr under a Creative Commons license
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Image Credit 5: iujaz via flickr under a Creative Commons license
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