Unlike wind power, which only generates electricity when the wind is blowing, geothermal generators run all day and night, every single day, 365 days a year -- which is what industry and the community need.

The advantages of geothermal power

Geothermal generation of electricity has five main advantages:

1. Geothermal is unique among current renewable energy technologies -- it can meet demand for base load electricity with an almost constant output of electricity -- all day and night, every single day, 365 days a year -- completely independent of whether the sun is shining or the wind is blowing.

2. Geothermal is a local source of energy -- therefore independent of the cost of diesel fuel, which is increasing very rapidly (Fiji's total fuel imports grew from $300 million in 2000 to $1 billion in 2006 and are now higher still). Many millions of dollars that presently have to be sent overseas each year to pay for fuel oil will be saved.

3. The energy supply is secure within our borders.

4. Geothermal electricity production gives off only very small amounts of “greenhouse gases” that cause global warming, and it is environmentally friendly in other respects.

5. Wet geothermal technology that will be used in Fiji is highly reliable, mature technology -- it has been used continuously for more than 100 years. The percentage of time that a modern geothermal plant is capable of producing electricity is typically 95-99%, compared to less than 90% for diesel-powered installations and less than 20% for wind plants. In 21 countries world-wide, geothermal supplies more than 10,000 megawatts of generating capacity (equal to about 125 Monasavu Dams) to about 60 million people.

What's a watt?

The watt is a unit of power that measures a rate of energy use or production. A megawatt is a million watts. In the electric power industry, “megawatt electrical” (abbreviation: MWe) is a term that refers to generated electricity. One MWe is the amount of power needed by about 2,000 homes in Fiji. However, industries use much more power than houses.

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