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Does Samoa have a future in renewable energy?

Faasoa-Chan Ting, Vanda (2010) Does Samoa have a future in renewable energy? Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Energy is critical to the economic growth and social development of any country. Samoa, as a least developing country, therefore needs to ensure that its energy demands are supplied for. However, such a demand has risen exponentially in the last few years forcing Samoa to rely heavily on costly imported fossil fuels such as diesel and petroleum.

The motivation to undertake this research on Samoa is due to the fact that the price of fossil fuel products especially petrol and diesel among others, fluctuates as they are dictated by the market prices overseas. Moreover, these products are imported from halfway around the world which increases the prices of all fossil fuel products by the time they land on Samoan soil. This in turn increases the cost of all other necessities such as electricity, water and food. So there is an urgent need to develop and apply technologies which will enable Samoa to use its abundant renewable energy sources in the most efficient ways, while at the same time reducing its heavy dependence on overpriced imported fossil fuels.

This Dissertation concentrates on the currently abundant renewable resources in Samoa as well as touching on potential sources. The abundant renewable and widely used resources in Samoa at present include biomass, hydropower and solar energy. Promising potential sources are wind, geothermal and wave energy. This dissertation presents current renewable energy projects being undertaken by the Samoan government such as solar electricity on Apolima Island, wind resource assessment and feasibility studies, hydropower for electricity-production, biomass use in its solid and liquid forms in Samoa. The results and rates of development as well as relevant usage of these projects of these projects in the Samoan context, will differ from one renewable source to another. Also included in this report are ongoing researches and trials being carried out such as the use of biodiesel from coconut to substitute fossil fuel in electricity production and transport. With regards to utilizing other renewable energy sources available in Samoa such as geothermal and wave energy, this dissertation will also determine if they are worthwhile projects or not. The results collated by this research determine the most viable, cost-effective and efficient renewable energy technology that Samoa should undertake to ensure that its energy needs are always satisfied.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Energy
Supervisor(s): Urmee, Tania
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