Australia helps Kiribati go solar

27th Mar 2013

Kiribati, one of the world's least developed nations, is set to receive some solar assistance from Australia.

According to ABC Radio Australia, Australia has signed on with $4 million to help Kiribati generate renewable energy through the use of solar panels, on its main atoll of Tarawa.

Solar panels will be installed which will provide 15 per cent of the country's electricity. Currently, Kiribati is powered by imported diesel which is expensive as well as costly to the environment.

"Shifting Kiribati’s focus to reliable solar energy will provide a more secure, more sustainable power source for the country’s people," Kiribati President Anote Tong told the ABC on March 25.

According to the CIA World Factbook, Kiribati, formerly known as the Gilbert Islands became a British colony in 1915.

They were given self-rule b the UK in 1971 and complete independence in 1979 where the new name of Kiribati was decided.

Kiribati has few natural resources, with little economic development due to its remoteness, weak infrastructure and a shortage of skilled workers.

It receives financial aid from the EU, UK, US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UN agencies, and Taiwan – all in all accounting for 20-25% of the nation's GDP.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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