21 Mar 2013

Niue poised for massive solar power supply boost

2:03 pm on 21 March 2013

Niue is set to substantially cut back its diesel use with two solar power developments under construction.

One of the schemes is a 74 kilowatt system being built near the airport with the assistance of the European Union.

The second is a joint venture between Niue and the Japanese government for a 200 kilowatt project at the Tuila power station.

An electrical engineer, who is a consultant to the Niue government, Paul Johnson, says the schemes should cut diesel consumption significantly.

"On a bright sunny day here in Niue, at midday, we will have 100 percent penetration of solar power. Of course the sun doesn't shine for 18 hours of the day so the diesel will always be needed. So solar panels really anywhere in this part of the world are really used as an offset to diesel."

Paul Johnson in Niue.

The first of two regional summits on renewable energy is being held in Tonga today and tomorrow.

The second begins in Auckland on Monday.