Solar Power And Desalination Plant For Tuvalu

Fresh water is becoming a very pressing issue in Tuvalu and the island nation is turning to desalination to help avert disaster. Solar power is also being enlisted to help the country to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.
  
Tuvalu consists of a number of islands located in the Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and Australia. At only 26 square kilometres, it is the fourth smallest country in the world and is home to a population of around 10,500 people. The highest point in the nation is just 4.5 metres above sea level.
  
Already threatened by inundation from rising seas, a more immediate threat facing the people of Tuvalu is a lack of drinking water caused drought conditions. Late in September, a state of emergency was declared when some areas of Tuvalu had only days of potable fresh water supplies left.
   
Some help is on the horizon, and none too soon. Tuvalu will be given access to $4 million from the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund to set up desalination plants and solar power generation.
  
“The project will complement efforts being undertaken to address the state of emergency in Tuvalu and will contribute to the long term goals of increased access to a sustainable supply of water during periods of drought, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and reducing carbon emissions through the use of renewable energy,” said Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Tuiloma Neroni Slade..
  
The project will include a desalination plant capable of producing 100 cubic metres of water per day to be constructed on the island of Funafuti. A 65.52kW grid connected and solar panel based electricity generation system will also be installed on the island, which will help offset the energy required by the desalination plant and provide clean power for general use when the plant is not required. An additional two mobile 10 cubic metre a day desalination plants will be provided that can be placed where needed.
   
The PEC Fund is an initiative of the Government of Japan providing approximately US$66 million to support Forum Island Country projects; with a focus on the rollout of solar power generation systems and/or sea water desalination plants.