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Renewable energy, not nuclear, for Pacific islands

Paradise Sinking
By Ben Bohane

HAARETZ . com  3 Dec 09 “………..Pacific states are realizing that they may have a distinct advantage in the reordering of the global economy, as it moves away from a dependence on fossil fuels. Developing nations in equatorial zones have begun a concerted move toward a switch to renewable energy.

Nowhere is this more urgent than in Pacific island states, for two obvious reasons: first, because they are beginning to pay the price of climate change and need to set an example. ……………..Meanwhile the capital costs of renewable-energy equipment – particularly for solar – continue to decline, making this more affordable for individuals and communities alike………………ndustrialized countries are increasingly looking to nuclear power to generate their baseload requirements, but this, too will prove a short-term solution, since there are finite amounts of uranium – enough to supply existing reactors for only another 50-60 years. They are merely putting off the inevitable need to harness renewables, and in the process are exposing themselves to the dangers of toxic nuclear waste (which has a half-life of 40,000 years), accidents and terrorism.

Industrialized nations need to undergo nothing less than a paradigm shift in terms of how they will need to retool their energy, transport and industrial sectors to face the challenges ahead. For island states, the transition can be much smoother as they move quickly into renewable energy power generation. Some countries are already leading the way. According to the Fiji Electricity Authority, 66 percent of that country’s current power comes from renewable sources, mainly hydro power. The target is 90 percent by 2015. Meanwhile, if Tuvalu implements its plans, it will become the world’s first nation to rely exclusively on renewable energy. It hopes to use only solar power by 2020…………..

December 4, 2009 - Posted by | climate change, OCEANIA, renewable | , , , ,

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