(AUSTRALIA)

Shining a light on one of the world’s most important marine ecosystems is set to become more sustainable. That’s because the internationally renowned Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) is going to shift to using solar energy.

AIMS is where research is done on the Great Barrier Reef and on the impact climate change is having on tropical marine ecosystems. And a 800kW solar panel array is now going to be constructed at its headquarters in Cape Ferguson.

The money saved on electricity will be diverted to vital research projects.

“We will save around $300,000 annually on electricity bills – savings that can be used to support the important work being done by our researchers,” AIMS CEO John Gunn said. “Increasing atmospheric CO2 levels are known to be driving climate change – this initiative will reduce the Institute’s carbon footprint by more than 800 tonnes annually.”

One of the institute’s most valuable tools is the National Sea Simulator (SeaSim) where researchers can investigate the impact of environmental pressures on reef communities.

“SeaSim is allowing us to undertake complex research that was not previously possible – including work on assessing the impact of increasing CO2 – this investment will help to reduce the recurrent cost of running this important research asset,” added Gunn.