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Global Ideas

A tiny island's gigantic green goals

The smallest of the Canary Islands wants to shift to 100 percent renewable energy with wind and water power. It's an ambitious goal - but necessary in a warming world. Still, can it be done affordably?

Watch video 04:59

Renewable energy on El Hierro

Project goal: El Hierro wants to switch to 100 percent renewable energy
Project implementation: Pumped-storage hydroelectricity and 11 megawatts of wind energy so far, saving 14,000 tons of CO2 annually
Project budget: 83 million euros ($90.5 million)

The small Canary Island of El Hierro off Africa's Atlantic Coast has a big goal: To power itself solely on renewable energy. Using a combination of wind and water power, the island has managed to save 14,000 tons of CO2 annually. However, critics say the project is far too expensive, and that it has fallen far short of its goal of 100 percent green energy in 2016. Can El Hierro achieve its aim?

A film by Michael Altenhenne

 

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