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Renewable energy in the Pacific under EU-NZ Partnership

Rollout of renewable energy in the Pacific under EU-NZ Partnership

European Commissioner Piebalgs and New Zealand Foreign Minister McCully depart on 23-27 April on a joint mission to the Pacific to see EU-NZ renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

Commissioner Piebalgs and Foreign Minister McCully will visit Samoa, Tuvalu, Kiribati (including Christmas Island) and the Cook Islands to highlight and inaugurate renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. EU projects include:
• solar panels installed to renewable provide electricity in Apia;
• extending the availability of reliable electricity with solar panels for Tuvalu's outer islands;
• agreeing with the Asian Development Bank to construct six photovoltaic power plants in the Cook Islands;

As well, in Kiribati Commissioner Piebalgs will launch a barge that will protect Tarawa's beaches from silt build-up and open a laboratory dedicated to monitoring and responding to environmental diseases. Both projects are necessary to mitigate the effects of climate change in Kiribati.

These projects are the first fruits of the EU-NZ Energy Partnership for the Pacific, an outcome of the Pacific Energy Summit. The Summit was co-hosted by the European Union and New Zealand and held in Auckland, March 2013. Its aim was to move Pacific nations closer to achieving 50 % of their electricity from renewable means. NZ$635 million was secured for Pacific energy projects.

For the European Union, the Energy Partnership for the Pacific is a regional enactment of its commitment to the UN's Sustainable Energy for All. SE4A is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's vision to make sustainable energy for all a reality by 2030. Commissioner Piebalgs is a member of the SE4A Advisory Board. Lack of access to energy blocks economic development.


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