As part of our commitment to leave a positive Carbon footprint in the regions we cross, we wanted to offset our Australasia Carbon emission (from our trip in New-Zealand, Australia and India) through projects in that same region.
With Thomas and South Pole Group advices, we picked two projects that are creating sustainable emissions reduction, as well as interesting social impact.
Prony wind farms, New Caledonia
The Pacific islands region, from Australia to Tahiti, faces increasing environmental and socio-economic pressures sharpened by global climate change. The UN recognizes small island developing states as being particularly vulnerable to climate change (like the Micronesian archipelago). Already severely affected by climate variability and extreme tropical weather events, they remain extremely vulnerable to future changes in the regional climate and to rising sea levels. Australia has already committed to welcome some of the very first climate change refugees coming from those small islands, and it’s already happening now !
Rich in wind resources, New Caledonia is reducing its dependency from fossil fuel with sustainable wind power. The two wind farms of Prony and Kafeate are using world first technology to green-up the national grid and provide socio-economic improvements for the communities, with 30 temporary and 28 permanent job creations favoring indigenous Kanak people.
In order to save nature and landscape partly disordered by former deforestation and mining activities, the infrastructure of the wind farms is based on existing roads only to limit erosion.
New Caledonia being located in a hurricane hot spot; the wind turbines used in the project are specifically designed for this type of climate, meaning that the whole wind farm can be tilted down within a few hours in the event of an extreme weather alert. This smart engineering approach makes the project a perfect match for the location and ensures that the nations green power supply can sustain an extreme climate event such as a hurricane.
The project activity lead to 32,000 tons of CO2 annual emissions reduction.
Micro-hydro plant, Indonesia
This micro hydro plant makes use of the natural flow of water to generate sustainable power for the island of Sulawesi, without the need for a retaining dam.
The project is utilizing the natural fall of water between the upper Moaat lake and the lower Iloloy lake to generate low impact sustainable energy. The hydro plant has an installed capacity of 3 MW only.
Beyond the provision of the region with clean energy that replaces fossil fuel fired power, the project is also concerned with saving local landscape and nature. Upstream of the hydro station, trees have been planted to stabilize the river banks and reduce erosion and improve the soil’s water absorption capability, thus securing local water supply.
In addition, the local population benefits from the small hydro plant. During the construction phase, most of the building material was bought in the region. Heavy machinery in this sensitive environment was avoided during construction, generating an over-average level of temporary employment, thus providing about 200 people with safe income. In the operational phase, about 20 locals are employed as technicians. The power plant management is in female hands which makes for a strong signal of gender equality.
This microhydro plant serves as a good example for sustainable development in a remote region, at the same time benefitting global climate and local communities.
The annual CO2 emissions reduction is 8,500 tons.
For more information on those two projects, and want to offset your own Carbon emissions, please check the South Pole Group website.