Samoa, Kiribati, Cook Is to receive renewable energy funding
Samoa, Kiribati, the Cook Islands to receive one million US dollars for renewable energy projects.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme, or SPREP, has allocated US$1,000,000 to Samoa, the Cook Islands and Kiribati to help fund renewable energy activities.
Its PIGGAREP, or Pacific Islands Greenhouse Gas Abatement through Renewable Energy Project, promotes energy efficiency and aims to create low carbon economies.
Mary Baines reports:
Samoa has been given US$300,000 to develop bio-gas generation systems which can convert green waste into power in rural areas. The assistant chief executive for energy at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Sala Sagato Tuifiso, says bio-gas is a cost-effective way to produce power.
SALA SAGATO TUIFISO: The cost of producing one kilowatt of bio-gas is as low as US$3, but for solar and wind, US$10 a kilowatt. The plan is to look at using green waste availiable - grass, banana leaves, taro leaves.
Sala Sagato Tuifiso says the funding from SPREP is enough for two systems, but there are hopes to eventually build other bio-gas generation systems in non-agricultural communities around the country.
SALA SAGATO TUIFISO: In the long-term plan, we would like the village communities to look at this as another source of income by producing their own electricity. This kind of project - anyone is eligible to do it, the technology is quite simple, it's suitable for anyone to run this kind of project.
SPREP has also allocated US$450,000 US dollars for a solar power generation system on the remote island of Palmerston in the Cook Islands. The director of the Energy Committee, Tangi Tereapii, says it will make a huge difference to people who live there.
TANGI TEREAPII: Palmerston only operates on certain hours of the day. That means they can sometimes only operate 12 hours, 10 hours, or sometimes 14, 16 hours. The transformation will give them 24 hour power supply. And this will support their small-base fishing industry, help them stock up for fishing.
Tangi Tereapii says this project is part of Cook Islands' aim to make fifty percent of its islands run off renewable energy by 2015, and 100 percent by 2020. Another US$250,000 dollars has been gifted to Kiribati to help install and operate a biofuel mill, which will generate power on Abemama Island. The project's manager, Miriam Tikana, could not be immediately reached for comment. The PIGGAREP project manager, Sili'a Kilepoa Ualesi, says it is committed to reducing carbon emissions in the Pacific. But she says it is up to each country to decide where renewable energy activities should be rolled out.
SILI'A KILEPOA UALESI: All of these countries, they have renewable energy targets and they want to pursue whatever priority renewable energy source that they have confirmed to be visible for their countries.
Sili'a Kilepoa Ualesi says the funding for the projects came from UNDP, the World Bank and the government of Denmark, and they have been developed in consultation with the Alliance of Small Island States. She says other countries that have received funding from PIGGAREP in the past include Tonga, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Palau.
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