Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed has announced an ambitious £160M offshore wind project that will supply close to half of the island nation’s electricity requirements.
Plans have been outlined for the construction of 30 large wind turbines, 40 miles north of the capital Male.
The wind farm will provide 75 megawatts of electricity - enough to meet around 40% of the country’s needs and reduce carbon emissions by 25%, says British environmental activist and researcher Chris Goodall.
Falcon Energy, the firm managing the project, said underwater cables from the turbines will supply power to Male and its surrounding islands.
Any additional power generated will be used for a desalination plant, while a liquefied natural gas plant will act as a backup source on less windy days.
The Maldives, an archipelago consisting of nearly 1,200 coral islands, is the lowest lying nation in the world and among the most under threat from rising sea levels.
With the latest announcement, Nasheed is hoping to set an example for other nations and encouraging them to commit to targets for renewable energy and emissions cuts ahead of the crucial climate change talks in Copenhagen next month.
He said: “What we are trying to do is say that renewable energy works. I’m saying it can be done everywhere.”
The Maldives is currently heavily dependent on oil imports to power generators and desalination plants.
Already, Nasheed has outlined plans to make the country carbon neutral in the next 10 years with studies into other potential sources of renewable energy such as solar power.