2 Aug 2017

Pacific electricity costs under scrutiny

6:25 am on 2 August 2017
no caption

Photo: 123rf

Members of the Pacific Power Association opened their annual conference in Apia on Tuesday to discuss ways to drive down the cost of electricity in the region.

Pacific island countries have some of the highest electricity costs in the world, making power beyond the reach of many.

This is mainly due to high electricity tariffs, the high cost of service connections and the cost of wiring premises.

The conference will explore regulatory reforms, technology and innovative financing to make electricity more affordable.

Dame Meg Taylor who leads the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, stressed the vulnerability of the region's countries to global oil price fluctuations.

"Even with the recent advances in the adoption of renewable energy, the region still relies on imported oil to provide 76 percent of the region's generated electricity. Hence plans to increase the use and penetration of renewables whether it is through large scale solar projects or small community-based micro and mini hydro schemes, all work to move away from carbon-based economies."

Close to 250 delegates representing electricity utilities, Pacific island governments, development partners and the private sector are attending the conference being hosted for the second time by the Samoa Electric Power Corporation.