Nasheed to personally install solar panels on roof of residence

President Mohamed Nasheed will climb onto the roof of the presidential residence ‘Muleaage’ next week and personally install US$30,000 worth of solar panels.

The panels, which are reportedly being donated by California-based solar panel company Sungevity, are expected to save the government US$100,000 in electricity costs over their 25-year lifespan.

The President’s enthusiasm for conducting the project personally is potentially a nudge at US President Barack Obama, whose aides recently rejected an offer of Carter-era solar panels delivered to the White House gate by environmental activist and 350 founder Bill McKibben.

“[The aides] explained that there were various reasons that the White House roof was not available for a gesture with very little energy-saving potential and that the Obama administration was doing more to promote renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions than any previous government. The word ‘stunt’ may have come up,” wrote the New York Times, in its Green Blog.

Nasheed’s Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair said that while the installation of solar panels on Muleaage was “obviously not going to turn the Maldives carbon neutral”, it was a symbolic act that would nonetheless show that the Maldives “is the most vulnerable nation in South Asia to spikes in oil prices, and has an economic imperative to embrace renewable energy.”

Nasheed would be wearing a harness and a hard hat, he added.

Bright idea

The uptake of solar panel technology has been limited in the Maldives apart from small scale installations on some islands and several grant-aid projects, said a spokesperson from Renewable Energy Maldives, who requested anonymity.

“I know of very few households that have taken up this sort of thing up in Male,” she said. “We haven’t worked much with resorts either – they tend to think short term, and there’s less interest from them compared to utility companies and island administrations.”

The latter demand stemmed from the potential return on investment for solar power units on remote islands with high electricity prices.

“On some of the islands the cost for a household unit can be paid back within 4-6 years,” the REM spokesperson said.

While the President’s plan to personally mount solar panels on his roof was “excellent” and would increase interest in the technology, there was still no mechanism in the Maldives to sell the electricity generated back into the grid.

If the State Electric Company (STELCO) would agree to buy electricity back from the grid, “that would be the best way to promote solar.”

“A building is a long term investment and if the owner installs solar panels and Stelco agrees to buy the excess power, it will really be an incentive to save energy,” she said.

“Having said that, there’s a lot more improvements to do with efficiency and conservation that we can do in Male’.”

Smaller applications of solar technology were proving more popular, she explained, such as solar hybrid air-conditioning units operating through heat exchange.

“They might cost a bit more [upfront] than an ordinary air conditioner, but they are 30-60 percent more efficient and the can pay for themselves in 18-24 months,” she said. “This is the sort of thing that has great potential in Male’.”

President Nasheed has previously promoted the country’s aggressive stance on environmental issues by conducting stunts such as an underwater cabinet meeting.

Members of the cabinet last year donned scuba gear and used hand signals to conduct the meeting, in front of international media.


34 thoughts on “Nasheed to personally install solar panels on roof of residence”

  1. putting solar panels on Muleeaage is better than the underwater cabinet meeting because it is a practical way to reduce the amount of oil burned and save on electricity bills.

  2. if the price of oil doubles tomorrow our economy would collapse the day after. that is why green energy makes sense here... even ignoring environmental concerns

  3. I wish religious extremism caused Greenhouse Effects.

    That seems to be the only way for it to grab President Nasheed attention, and do something about it.

    At least, symbolically.

  4. o god. the guy is ready to save the Maldives from mother nature but not ready to save the nation from his alli adhaalath party mullas aka extremists\ terrorists... ....before the waves of the sea swallows the land they will blow this land to hell soon if he is afraid and continue the unholy war

  5. another stunt for the environment cause. can this gimmick-locing president come up with similar stunts for the economy.

    perhaps open the vault of state bank of india with a blind fold & one hair pin, and lend some money to the desperate entrepreneurs who would go under not by rising sea level but by rising debt and credit defaults...

    i am beginning to think president nasheed does not comprehends anything beyond privatization, housing, transportation, environment and party politics...

  6. what's with all this obsessing over religion? this is a democracy and people can choose what they want

  7. "President Mohamed Nasheed will climb onto the roof of the presidential residence ‘Muleaage’ next week and personally install US$30,000 worth of solar panels."...if only these guys donate solar panels to everyone n get anni to install it for free imagine how much the government(and the country) will save on expatriate labour costs 🙂

  8. Dear President,
    Please show some respect to environment activities rather than promoting some commercially designed solar panel. People have voted you to carry on your presidential duties. Not to use your name to promote a commercially branded product.
    While Al gore was vice president, he never committed to climate change, but after failing in 2000, he suddenly came out screaming to promote these commercial brands. I bet you are not ignorant but using this countries resources to source funds for those who are willing to pay up commission for promoting their products. 350 & underwater cabinet meeting and all those relating to green are not in favour of the country. I believe it is a way of promoting some commercial products using our name and resources.
    Also you were one of those who created chaotic scenes at COP 15. And noone will invite to COP 16 at Mexico, as you have failed in promoting their products internationally.

  9. Wonderful,
    Hopefully we will be informed of how the system installed performs.
    Any possibility this company, Sungevity, could establish an operational base in Maldives and provide a viable solution to our electricity needs?

  10. Thumbs up for our President! Go Anni Go! Full support. If I had my own roof, I'd definitely do the same.

  11. yaamyn on Tue, 28th Sep 2010 9:25 PM

    whatever the topic is, u bring about these stuff. obsession with anything is not good for health. . . 😛

  12. Installation of Solar panel at Mulee-aage is ofcos a postive move. But HEP clibing on to the roof " Thats a Joke" and "Another Show off Stunt". Great he can do all these tricks and be the centre of the Joker.

    Yes tom he will want to show how to cookwith the use of Solar panel and will climb on to the roof to make a public media..

    Reminds me of Yousay's "Dhiri Ulhumakee Mee ba".

    I guess this Installation will be ceromonial and national band will play National Anthem.

  13. saabahey our president!!! For those of you who are against this idea, well blah blah lot will never be able to appreciate anything anni does.

  14. well done Mr President! let's get rid of all this dirty Golha oil coming into country and making gangsters rich. you know who i mean

  15. I am all for clean energy but Mr. President, why don't you leave the installation of solar panels to the professionals and use your time doing what you were elected to do?

  16. Great idea.
    Now i am just waiting for the day the government would ban plastic bags or atleast do something to discourage its use.

  17. While you are at it, Mr. President, please think of having a cabinet meeting up there each minister hanging down on a harness. That will grab a lot of attention and will be another world's first.

  18. where is the cabinet this time?? will they be joining our president on top of the roof?? or are they too chicken to climb on top of the roof??

  19. Experiencing installation of solar panel will be a great deed done by the president of Maldives in search of better use of natures rewards.

  20. I think this is an excellent move by the President. More public figures need to do the same and hopefully businesses will be attracted to this and will create enough demand to bring down the cost of electricity. I am saddned to read that the resorts have a short term mindset - this is not good, particularly the resorts being the largest contributor to GHG and consumer of electricity in the country. We need a better regulation for them to contribute to the carbon neutral policy of the Government.

    I am no fan of some of the Govt policies. But, I think this one is good. I hope soon, we will see real commitment to reform our energy sector which as it is right now, is a larger threat to our survival than the so called 'global warming' or perhaps and equal threat.

  21. yes it is good but it is not a main problem in the Maldives!if so many drugs addict where is new rehab centers?or solar panels help young generation to get out from drugs addiction?

  22. looks aas though whilst there has been a lot of trivial changes under Pres. Anni, no real improvement in what I see to be the real issues effecting Maldives which are: Extremists thinking increasing, gangsterism rising, drugs being used more and more, homelessness and overcrowding on the rise, health care and education no better, still no equality before the law. In Government's defence, majlis have denied many important bills and some have been passed, but have not yet seen them work. If it is really a constitutional issue, because Anni and MDP do not have enough legislative authority due to too much separation of power between President and Majlis, then PERHAPS Anni should fight for a new constitution where the Executive is the HEad of the party which has a majority in the Majlis (too improve executive efficiency such as a parliamentary system...)

  23. It is amazing how every Muslim country is attacked by some planted MEDIA pawns.
    Solar panels are a great idea for an Island.
    Muslims do not buy into the "divisive' posts here by paid foreigners who want to see Maldives leave their morals and become demonic like them.

  24. OMG.. so they have brought DRUGS to maldives too like for Afganistan/Iraq? What is this Devil? They are FOCUSING on getting Muslims addicted to drugs? Run to your Al Qur'an and make DUA for the Devil to VANISH from Maldives & every Muslim Country on earth.
    May be only a FLOOD can clean up the globe from these vermin anti-Muslims who are jealous of the MORALS because they have LOST it & can NEVER get back... unless become Muslims which they will not because DEVIL is PROUD.

  25. WHY are you NOT posting my messages to my Muslim brothers & sisters? Two posts you rejected? Are you The Yahoo...d?


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