Saturday, August 05, 2006
Solar Power in Fiji
I am a firm believer in decentralization and appropriate technology so I am interested in the use of solar energy in rural areas of Fiji. Surely solar cell systems which generate electricity from sunlight are appropriate for a tropical country like Fiji. They are quiet, give off no pollution, don't require much land or water to operate, and can be used to generate both electricity and fuels.
Over ten years ago, solar power was installed in the village of Ovea in Tailevu. In 1999 it was intalled in the village of Naroi, Moala Island in Lau for 170 households. The cost was donated by France.
In Fiji the Department of Energy installed 193 solar power in the province of Bua and Cakaudrove in 2002. They worked with the Pacific International Centre for High Technology Research (PICHTR).
FDOE, with Public Work Department (PWD) and PICHTR, installed a 720 kWh/day renewable-energy-hybrid-power system at the Nabouwalu Government Station )western side of Vanua Levu_ for offices, shops, ice-plant, bakeries, 30-bed hospital, school, post office, police station and a village. The system was designed by PICHTR. Upwards of 70% is supplied with the renewable energy equipment and the balance with diesel generators. The system produces electricity at costs that are competitive with the true cost of electricity production with fossil fuels.
Nukubati Resort off the coast of Macuata uses panels to capture heat from the sun.
These are some examples of solar energy being used in Fiji and there are other places as well.
Surely this could be done in numerous villages and locations which are isolated from the main power sources in Fiji.
The pics above are from Ovea, Nukubati and Nabouwalu.
Are they still working well I wonder.
I presume that the adventurers who are coming to Vorovoro Island with the tribewanted scheme will be looking seriously at the option of solar power for the project.