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Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development Forum

Clean renewable energy / Cousin Island-Seychelles

Posted By: Kerstin Henri - replying to Mali Voi
Date: Thursday, 27 July 2000, at 10:24 a.m.

In response to "Humanity confronting nature" (http://csiwisepractices.org/?read=173) by Mali Voi


April 22nd is celebrated in many countries around the world as Earth Day, and the theme this year 'Clean Energy Now!' effectively conveys the urgent need for us to use clean energy alternatives and diminish our dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear power.

Everyone is aware of the environmental problems associated with the use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy. While technology exists to convert clean, renewable energy sources, derived from wind, waves, sun and other such sources, into the energy we need in our daily lives, the only visible application of such technology in the Seychelles is the increasing use of solar water heaters.

Establishing systems to obtain household electricity from solar power is becoming increasingly feasible especially in areas that are presently off the grid. These types of systems are becoming common now in rural areas of many of our neighbouring African countries.

Cousin Island Special Reserve, managed by Birdlife Seychelles, will soon be one of the first places in the Seychelles where such systems are in place. One of the objectives of the reserve, as outlined in the most recent management plan, is to 'green' all operations, and this included replacing the noisy fuel-operated generator with solar energy systems to supply the wardens' homes with electricity.

Birdlife Seychelles has just received funds from the Second Dutch Trust Fund for Seychelles to achieve this objective. With assistance from the Ministry of Industry, the new system will be installed this summer. Interestingly, the supplier of the solar power equipment is British Petroleum, a sign that the major oil companies have also recognized the potential of solar energy and want a piece of the action. Besides providing electricity, the Cousin solar energy systems will serve as a showcase to demonstrate to visitors the potential of this new energy technology. Many people need to see for themselves that it does indeed work.

Although the initial costs of installing renewable energy systems like those on Cousin may be high, the long term economic and of course ecological benefits speak for themselves. As more people committed to environmental sustainability invest in renewable energy technology, the technology itself will improve and the costs will decrease, making it accessible to even more people. What is required now is that those who have the means, take the plunge, and get this energy revolution started right here in Seychelles.

Ms. Kerstin Henri,
Project Co-ordinator,
Birdlife Seychelles

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