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Taiwan to help Tuvalu take advantage of solar energy: President

2011/03/04 23:08:42

Taipei, March 4 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou said Friday Taiwanwill help its Pacific ally Tuvalu use solar energy to resolve theproblem of a lack of lighting in remote villages.

Ma made the pledge during a meeting at his office with TuvaluanPrime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs Willy Telavi, who is inTaiwan until March 5.

The president said that after his visit to Tuvalu last March, hisgovernment decided to help the island-state take advantage of solarenergy in addition to continuing its regular aid programs, whichinclude free medical services, education initiatives and projects tohelp Tuvalu develop its fishing industry.

Taiwan will promote an illumination-solution program, called "onelamp from Taiwan, to light up the villages in remote areas with solarenergy and LEDs, " Ma told Telavi.

Under the program, Taiwan will provide Tuvalu with photovoltaicpower-generating systems that satisfy electricity needs in remoteareas and save the country the expense of building more powergenerators.

Taiwan first adopted the project in Burkina Faso, one of its fourAfrican allies. It was designed to bring electric light to the homesof disadvantaged Burkina Faso students, who are often forced to studyunder streetlamps at night because they do not have electric power athome.

Under the program, photovoltaic power-generating systems havebeen installed in participating schools and each student has beengiven an LED lighting kit equipped with a rechargeable battery thatlasts four and a half hours.

The children can recharge their lamps at school and bring themhome to use at night.

Taiwan established diplomatic ties with Tuvalu in 1979, making itTaiwan's oldest ally in the Pacific region.

(By Lee Shu-hua and Elizabeth Hsu)