The BA is going to launch fund rising to make Tongareva carbon neutral. We aim to collect a found currently estimated below 20,000 US$ to replace all the currently used conventional bulbs with energy saving, long lasting LED bulbs. This way significant amount of energy can be saved and the two solar-power station could cover the energy need of the communities at this remote atoll.
On 20th of February 2015 with the delivery of two complete solar-power station component set for the villages of Tongareva atoll (110 people at Omoka and 40 at Te Tautua) the NZAID financed project entered into its on-site build phase, to be completed in two months.
“All water is stored rainfall. Tongareva turns the power off overnight to save fuel, and we are very careful at conserving our precious resources. No matter which way we look at the problem, diesel fuel has to come from New Zealand (over 6000 km), and another voyage from Rarotonga (1400 km); then the ships have to return again. By changing to solar power we cut out that huge carbon footprint.” (Dr. Michael White, Tongareva Atoll)
Power at Tongareva is used for:
– refrigerators and freezers;
– electric jugs (kettles);
– water pumps;
– televisions, video players and computers;
– recharging phones and small electronic devices;
– sewing machines and other power tools;
Efforts are already started to make a good estimation of monthly power consumption per household. Permission has been sought from the Head of Tongareva Atoll to conduct a survey of all households to determine patterns of domestic energy usage, and requirements to replace existing lighting with LED products. This survey will take about few weeks to complete.
Other figures to see the whole picture are:
– average energy usage per day
– nominal output of the current generator
– quantity of diesel usage per day
– nominal output of the two solar station
– bulb types required
– number of required bulbs per type
– available sources to purchase from
As soon as figures will be available, the required budget for replacing the bulbs can be determined, and fund rising can be started on this website.
Meanwhile there is an open call for Grant Funding Application to prepare further projects.
Tongareva belongs to the Cook Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. The people of Tongareva, just like the people of many similarly remote islands, had learned that they rely on their natural environment almost exclusively. So they must preserve its pristine state as much as they can to live a balanced life and not to destroy their children’s heritage.