Marie-Galante is a tiny Caribbean island in the French West Indies, spanning just 158 km2 and with a population of 11,000. Part of the Guadeloupe archipelago, the island has depended on its larger neighbour for its energy until now, but with France’s 2015 ‘Energy Transition’ Law, Marie-Galante is expected to become fully energy self-sufficient. As part of this shift, one of the towns on the island has chosen Fonroche Lighting to install off-grid solar street lights.
West Indies: Marie-Galante, a sustainable island
Providing electricity for a French island in the Caribbean
In terms of energy, an island is said to be a “non-interconnected zone”. In other words, the electricity it uses is either imported or produced locally. On the island of Marie-Galante, for example, more than one-third of electricity is currently supplied by Guadeloupe via undersea cable. And despite the strong potential, renewables such as solar, wind and biogas account for just 18% of local energy production.
Shining example of how to make the energy transition happen
France’s 2015 Energy Transition for Green Growth law aims to step up the fight against global warming and better protect the environment. The main targets set for both France and its overseas territories:
- Increase the share of renewables to 50% by 2030
- Achieve energy independence by 2050.
Marie-Galante is one of France’s 16 overseas territories selected as an ‘industrial demonstrator for sustainable cities’ – with 100% energy self-sufficiency the ultimate goal. What’s more, the island is expected to complete its transition in 2020 – 10 years ahead of schedule.
A variety of green solutions have already implemented, including Smartlight solar street lights from Fonroche Lighting.
Off-grid solar street light installation on a residential estate
Capesterre lit up by Fonroche solar street lights
Capesterre-de-Marie-Galante, which is located at the south-eastern tip of the island, has equipped a residential estate with solar street lights. Twenty Smartlights have been installed along roads, parking facilities and play areas across the estate, bringing safety and peace of mind to the residents 365 nights a year. Reflecting the island’s environmental commitments, Fonroche solar lighting is a big step toward reducing its dependence on energy imports.
Neighbouring islands follow suit
Marie-Galante isn’t the only island of Guadeloupe that’s gone solar. Terre-de-Bas and La Désirade have also opted for a 100% off-grid solar lighting solution for public facilities.