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Winds of change as Seychelles embraces green power

Posted on July 1, 2013
A view of the port in Victoria on March 5, 2012. On two islands surrounded by deep turquoise water, the blades of eight wind turbines spin, providing a rare source of green energy for the port of Victoria, the Seychelles capital.

A view of the port in Victoria on March 5, 2012. On two islands surrounded by deep turquoise water, the blades of eight wind turbines spin, providing a rare source of green energy for the port of Victoria, the Seychelles capital.

On two islands surrounded by deep turquoise water, the blades of eight wind turbines spin, providing a rare source of green energy for the port of Victoria, the Seychelles capital.

The popular tourist archipelago far out in the Indian Ocean is almost entirely dependent on imported fossil fuels for power, but is now embracing renewable energy.

The new wind farm here, opened in early June and funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, has a total capacity of six megawatts, enough for some 2,000 houses in Mahe, the main island of the Seychelles and home to 70,000 people, around 90 percent of the population of the archipelago.

The turbines are the first opened in a plan to provide at least 15 percent of the Seychelles power needs from renewable sources by 2030.

“The decision to produce electricity using renewable energy was taken in 2008, after oil prices peaked, to ensure energy security,” said Tony Imaduwa, acting head of the Seychelles’ energy commission.

Currently, the islands “are 95 percent dependent on imported oil”, the Indian Ocean Commission, a regional body, and the European Commission said in a joint statement in early June.

Since then, the EU has announced 15 million euros ($20 million) in funding for renewable energy projects in the wider Indian Ocean region, including the Seychelles but also for Mauritius, Comoros and Madagascar.

Read more at: Phys.org

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