30 May 2014

Tokelau wins award for solar conversion

12:48 pm on 30 May 2014

Tokelau has been named winner of the 2014 EECA Renewable Energy Award for its switch from diesel-generated electricity to clean, renewable solar energy.

Over a three-year period ending last year, Tokelau converted to solar power with the installation of three large solar arrays on each of the three atolls.

These arrays now supply 90 percent of Tokelau's electricity needs, making it one of the world's top nations in renewably-sourced electricity - and the first to run almost exclusively on solar-generated power.

The chief executive of New Zealand's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Agency, or EECA, Mike Underhill, says it is a significant achievement.

"Not just good on them for doing for their own islands but it sets a precedent that other island communities could look at and say we could do the same. So we look at the two things. One good on them in their own right but actually there are a number of island nations looking at replicating what Tokelau has done."

EECA's Mike Underhill.