Clean Energy fromWind Power
Prony, NEw cALEDONIa*
The windy New Caledonia is steadily reducing its dependence on fossil fuels. The Prony wind farm thus has a positive impact on the national grid towards more sustainable generation of clean energy and is accompanied by socio-economic improvements for communities.
The Pacific Islands are facing an increasing environmental and socio-economic burden, exacerbated by global climate change. In particular, the small island developing States are at risk. This fact has also been recognized by the UN.
Already today, heavily affected by climatic fluctuations and extreme weather events, these islands remain vulnerable to future changes in the regional climate and rising sea levels.
In addition to the replacement of dirty fossil energy with energy from sustainable wind power, the project tackles several environmental and social issues. Strengthening civil society and indigenous rights, the Kanak, is achieved through the targeted support of local and regional initiatives for employment and promotion of youth, the community in general.
In order to avoid any negative impacts on nature and landscape, the infrastructure of the wind farms is based on existing roads to limit erosion. New Caledonia is in a Hurricane Hot Spot. The wind turbines used in the project are specially designed for this type of climate, so that the entire wind farm can be tipped down within a few hours in extreme weather conditions. This intelligent engineering approach makes the project perfect for the site and ensures that the nation can sustain green power even during a severe climate event, such as a hurricane.
One of the world's largest marine reserves, the Parc Naturel de la Mer de Corail, is located in New Caledonia, the Pacific island group, about 3 hours flight time from the Australian city of Sydney. The area, which is about three times larger than Germany, was placed under protection by the government of New Caledonia in 2014.
The decision to protect countless animal species, including 25 marine mammals, 48 shark species and 19 species of birds, has resulted in stricter rules for shipping, fisheries and resource extraction. As early as 2008, UNESCO awarded the New Caledonian lagoons World Heritage status.
It is almost comforting when Lionel Garder, the manager of the Marine Reserve, says: "We will never experience mass tourism here", because the Europeans are too long, Australians and New Zealanders are afraid of French and Asians prefer to travel to Bora Bora.
However, investors are always trying to build hotel complexes on the beautiful sandy beaches, whereas the local fishermen could defend themselves successfully. Local fisherman Sivitongo Georgi says "The islands should stay as they are. What do a hotel and tourists bring us, when in the end the sea is polluted and there are no fish left? "
The inhabitants fight against nickel producers, who are ruining the environment elsewhere by mining nickel. New Caledonia is estimated to hold about one fifth of the world's nickel deposits. Nickel - an expensive metal that can be used to make a lot of money. Whereby most of the deposit still rests in the ground and the desire is great. As the local environmentalists fear, the first effects due to mining by a nickel company have also been apparent for some time. Nickel dust from the face turns into red mud in rivers and flows into the sea. Up to 250 meters high mountains on which grow plants that can be found nowhere else in the world, are removed by the nickel company.
The nature and climate protection concept, supported by the general public, convinced us so much that we gladly included climate protection projects from New Caledonia in our portfolio.