28 Sep 2005

Oil price rises focus Pacific attention on renewable energy sources

9:48 am on 28 September 2005

More and more Pacific countries are seriously considering renewable forms of energy because of the impact of the high oil prices on their economies.

Almost all Pacific countries are heavily dependent on diesel generation for electricity but organisations such as Greenpeace say the soaring cost of oil might be the catalyst for governments and aid donors to act.

Vanuatu is one country that has made use of coconut oil and now Solomon Islands wants to do the same.

The Energy Minister, Basil Manelegua, says they have plans for trials over the next two or three months.

"Basically we are going to sign a memorandum of understanding with Solomon Tropical Products for the production of coconut oils and so that we can get this fuel in place but at the moment we are still working on a framework on an experimental basis."

Mr Manelegua says they will be looking for donor support to help the country exploit its wind and hydro energy opportunities.