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Maldives — Dhiffushi Solar Ice Project

Solar power
Key Objectives:
  • Provide momentum in the Maldives for a shift from full reliance on diesel generation to a hybrid system with a renewable energy.
  • Promote the use of local renewable energy sources and reduce CO2 emissions by reducing fossil fuel consumption.
  • Transfer technological know-how about operation, installation and monitoring of a complex grid-connected PV system that will benefit the main economic activity of Dhiffushi Island.
  • Send a symbolic message about the importance of global and concerted action for promotion of sustainable energy development worldwide and the fight against climate change.
Dhiffushi Island, Republic of Maldives
Completed in 2016

 Click image to read interactive report

A recipient of the 2017 National Energy Globe Award for the Maldives, the project was completed in 2016 and features the installation of a 40 kW grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) system and an ice-making machine on Dhiffushi Island in the Maldives, an island nation located in the Indian Ocean. Learn more about the project by reading our interactive publication. Browse through the photos and watch the breathtaking embedded videos taken by a drone! You will learn more about this award-winning project, why we undertook this initiative, and how the residents of Dhiffushi are benefitting from this new system.

With 80% of the total land mass of the islands only a metre above sea level, the Maldives is one of the places on earth most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Any rise in the sea level associated with global warming threatens the very existence of the islands.

Furthermore, like many Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the Maldives has been heavily reliant on imported fuel for its diesel power generation system. With oil prices fluctuating higher in recent years and concerns about global warming growing, the government of the Maldives has expressed its will to increase the share of renewable energy sources and become carbon neutral by 2020.

In response to this, and in line with the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Asia Solar Energy Initiative (ASEI), which aims to generate around 3,000 MW of solar power in the region, the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) led this solar energy project in the Maldives that will serve as a pilot project for the ASEI.

To facilitate deployment of the replication and to encourage the development of local capacity and know-how, the Partnership and ADB carried out a full training program on PV system design, construction, operation and maintenance for Maldivian engineers. Not only is this project creating momentum for the shift away from full reliance on diesel generation, it is also enabling the efficient use of solar energy for an ice-making machine that will help the island residents preserve fish for sale, the main economic activity in Dhiffushi. 

The Partnership worked closely with the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MEE, formerly the Ministry of Housing and Environment) of the Maldives, the State Electric Company Limited (STELCO), the Dhiffushi Island Council and ADB to ensure the success of this project. 

Installation of the solar panels. The completed solar panel structure.
Fishing is the main economic in Dhiffushi. Local fishermen will be the principal beneficiaries of the project. Local fishermen use the ice to preserve fish for sale.
Local engineers receive training from GSEP experts on the PV system. The project was inaugurated in 2016. 



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