A small island in the South Pacific Ocean recently shot to fame by becoming the first territory on our planet to derive its energy needs from the Sun. Covering a small area of 10 square kilometers, Tokelau is a part of New Zealand and lies to the North of Samoan islands.
Funded by the government of New Zealand, Tokelau spent about $7 million to put in place three solar grids that will now enable its 1500 residents to harness and utilize solar energy for their daily needs. Why spend $7 million for a power plant in the middle of nowhere you might ask!
While the small island generates a small sum of $ 500,000 every year by selling agricultural produce, it spends over $2.8 million, most of which is spent of food and fuel. While its 1500 residents have energy needs like us, Tokelau’s new means of earning is selling Internet domain names (like .com, .co.in, .au etc. ) with a .tk extension. With a booming internet business, electrical energy had become a primary need.
Besides, Tokelau has been dependent on gas and oil, both , in-efficient and highly polluting means of satisfying their energy requirements. After declaring its 300,000 square kilometre sea a shark sanctuary in 2011 Tokelau has taken a much bolder step and decided to switch to solar powered energy.
So, the next time you see a web site with .tk extension, think of the solar grids that are empowering lives of the residents of Tokelau. Guess, enough has been said, its time to do something.
- Tokelau shifts to solar energy (bbc.co.uk)