27 Feb 2013

Solar power planned for Tonga's outer islands

1:37 pm on 27 February 2013

Tonga hopes all homes in the outer islands will soon have solar power units.

This comes as the country prepares to host the Pacific Leaders' Energy Summit from March the 21st, when the Tonga Energy Road Map, or TERM, will be held up as a possible blueprint for other countries to follow.

Last year, a huge solar farm was opened on Tongatapu, and another one is planned on the island and one also on Vava'u.

One of the organisers of the summit and the director of TERM, Inoke Vala, says the Japanese aid agency, JICA, has been installing what are called home alone solar units in homes on the country's remote islands.

"Currently there is about 520 units of 'home alone' stand alone units installed. So we want to have access up to 100 percent in the small islands."

Inoke Vala.

The Tonga summit is followed by a similar meeting in New Zealand that is to co-hosted by the European Union.

That meeting aims to find new investment in renewable energy generation in the region.