The Maldives pledges 100% renewables by 2020

March 21, 2009

The Maldives government has announced the country will transform its economy to become carbon neutral by 2020.

President Mohamed Nasheed told BBC News on March 15 that he intended the commitment to serve as a blueprint for other nations worldwide.

"We understand more than perhaps anyone what would happen to us if we didn't do anything about [climate change] or if the rest of the world doesn't find the imagination to confront this problem", Nasheed told the US PBS's Newshour.

The Maldives is one of the lowest-lying countries in the world — the highest point in the chain of just under 1200 islands is only 1.8 metres above sea level. The BBC reported that The Maldives would need to spend about $110 million a year to convert to renewables.

The March 15 Observer reported that Nasheed had enlisted the help of British climate change experts Chris Goodall and Mark Lynas to develop a transition plan to a carbon neutral economy.

The plan includes renewable electricity generation via 155 wind turbines, the widespread use of rooftop solar panels, and a biomass plant using coconut husks. Excess energy will be stored in back-up "battery banks".

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