New Solar Farm in Cape Verde

Work has recently started on a large photovoltaic installation on the island of Sal in Cape Verde. This is part of the Cape Verdean government’s aim to supply all of the country’s energy from renewable sources. Águas de Ponta Preta (APP) is constructing this new solar farm at Ponta Preta.

The new installation will supply 2.03 GWh/year, consequently it will reduce the reliance on fossil fuels by 10%. The solar farm will comprise 3,480 panels and will cost €2.03m. Through an agreement with CERMI – The Centre for Renewable Energy and Industrial maintenance – 8 students are involved in the assembly and operational stages.

Cape Verde has almost unlimited sun therefore the use of this free resource to provide electricity is an obvious one for this country.

news ecology

Ecology on the agenda in Cape Verde

There is currently a Cape Verdean Parliamentary Delegation visiting the island of Maio for three days of meetings and visits. A number of subjects will be covered including ecology. The delegation will also be entertained with musical events on both Monday and Tuesday evenings. The entertainment being provided by local bands and also Tibau Tavares.

On Wednesday there will be a meeting looking at matters of ecology within Cape Verde. This meeting will consider issues surrounding water and agriculture together with other environmental issues. This could be an important initiative in a country that already has grand plans in terms of green energy. If Cape Verde can address other issues such as recycling and dealing with waste, it would be a good move.

wave power

Wave power project for Cape Verde

São Vicente is to be home to the first commercial wave power project in Cape Verde. SINN Power, a German company is to partner with a local company Fazenda de Camarão to prepare a feasibility study. The plan is to create an organic prawn farm, which will then be supplied with energy from the waves.

The seas around Cape Verde are a good choice to harvest the power of the sea to generate electricity. The country has set an ambitious target to be be 100% reliant on renewables by 2025. This latest proposal will surely help Cape Verde to reach this target. The use of this in conjunction with a sustainable prawn farm has the benefit of not only providing renewable energy, but also boosting food production.

maio UNESCO biosphere

Maio to be a UNESCO Biosphere reserve?

A recent report identified the island of Maio as having the necessary conditions to be considered as part of the UNESCO Biosphere. Biosphere reserves are ‘areas comprising terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems’.

Consultants identified Maio as having the potential to be an excellent reserve, given its size and the quality of the natural environment. Also because it is part of Macaronesia (islands in the North Atlantic, belonging to Portugal, Spain and Cape Verde). It is hoped that the formalities will be submitted to UNESCO by September. The proposal is considered with a decision due in July 2019. Some aspects may not be completed in time for that deadline and may have to be considered for next year. Submissions always have to be made by September.

Designating the island of Maio in this way could bring some advantages for the island, including recognition world wide. It will also bring to the island organisations and individuals interested in research. It will also provide support in the management of the natural resources on the island.

stranded whales at Maio

Rescued whales on Maio beach

On Sunday, three young whales became stranded on the little beach next to Stella Maris in Vila do Maio. Various attempts were made to push them back into the sea but even with ropes and sheets, this proved impossible. Eventually a fishing boat arrived and using its motor they managed to get these three lovely creatures back into deeper water. This successful outcome was greeted with applause from the crowd that had gathered. Its puzzling why the whales came into such shallow waters. Congratulations to all concerned.

cape verde aerial view

Exciting ambitious environmental targets

What exciting, ambitious plans! Cape Verde had previously set a target of achieving 50% of the countries power from renewable sources. They have now increased their target to 100% of their energy requirements being from renewables by 2020. What an amazing achievement that will be if they succeed. It will put many more developed countries to shame. Cape Verde has very little in the way of natural resources, and relatively little agricultural land. However, it does have plenty of is sun and wind. Seven years ago the government of Cape Verde set out the benefits of employing solar and wind power. Then they set targets of achieving 25% of the countries requirements by the end of 2011, and 50% by the end of 2020. The government reports that the country already generates 25% of the electricity usage through wind turbines. The government formed CERMI (Centre of Renewable Energy and Industrial Maintenance). It is hoped that this will serve more than just Cape Verde, but also other west African countries.

 

cape verde desert

EU climate change funding for Cape Verde

President Trump may deny climate change, but Cape Verde recognises the risk to the country and to the planet if we do not tackle this issue. The Cape Verde Government and the EU have recently signed a European Funding agreement worth €5m for the project ‘Reinforcing the Capacities and Resilience of the Forestry Sector in Cape Verde’. The principal aim of the project is to improve Cape Verde’s ability to resist the effects of climate change, which is increasing the extent of the desert areas; it will do this by encouraging reforestation and reinforcement of existing forests.

Turtle Entering Sea

Cape Verde – an ethical destination

The ‘Ethical Traveler’, a project of the Earth Island Institute, prepares a list of 10 of the countries within the Developing World that are the most ethical travel destinations. Cape Verde is  clear leader in this quest. The island state is currently aiming to acquire half of its energy requirements from renewable sources; it has established programmes to protect turtles, which are hunted and also vulnerable to pollution. Cape Verde is also known for gender equality with women holding positions of authority in both the public and the private sector. LGBT rights are also embraced and it is one of the very few African countries to hold a Gay Pride week. All of this is something that this small country should be proud of.