Monday, 16 Mar, 2009 Environment

Maldives to Become World's First Carbon Neutral Nation


It is time to move to the Maldives since the country composed of 1,200 islands and a population of 380,000 looks forward to become carbon neutral in just 10 years.

According to the country's new president, Mohamed Nasheed, who was for the first time elected using democratic principles, mentioned that environment is now the Maldives' top priority due to the fact that the continuously rising sea levels threaten to flood the land.

In 2008 Mr. Nasheed announced the idea of buying an alternative homeland for the country due to the fears of the impacts of climate change. It is worth mentioning that the Maldives already spent over $42 million on a 3-meter high flood defense wall surrounding the capital, Male. However, 80 percent of the islands are only 1 meter above the sea level.

Recently the president announced that he plans to completely eliminate the use of fossil fuels on the Maldives. Mr. Nasheed looks forward to develop a new renewable electricity generation and transmission infrastructure that will feature 155 large wind turbines, along with 0.5 sq. km of rooftop solar panels, as well as a biomass plant that would burn coconut husks, informs The Guardian.

The scheme also includes battery banks that would generate back-up storage for the times when it would be impossible to access neither wind nor solar energy.

All vehicles and boast running on gas and diesel are going to be replaced with electric equivalents. The clean electricity would also power homes and businesses. The whole plan is estimated at about $155 million a year for a ten-year period. These actions should pay for themselves due to the fact that the country won't have to import oil products any longer.

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