10 Jul 2014

ADB meeting Pacific need for renewable energy

5:52 pm on 10 July 2014

The Asian Development Bank says there has been a spike in the need for investment in renewable energy in the Pacific as the cost of diesel continues to rise.

A senior energy specialist, Anthony Maxwell, says the ADB will put 228 million US dollars into renewable energy projects over the next three years.

He says its new Pacific Energy Update 2014 sets out how it plans to reduce the Pacific's heavy reliance on fossil fuels and support more sustainable growth.

Mr Maxwell says hydropower projects are underway in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and solar and wind projects being planned in Micronesia and Tonga.

"It increases the percentage of renewable energy in the countries, and that reduces the diesel importation, which is very good from a macro-economic level and from an energy security perspective. Diesel will have a strong place in the energy mix in the Pacific for generations to come but it helps reduce that overall reliance on imported diesel."

Anthony Maxwell says the switch will also decrease greenhouse gas emissions and send a message to developed countries that the Pacific is taking the issue of climate change seriously.