World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Tonga: Funds to Cut Diesel, Boost Solar in Outer Islands

Tonga Gets More Funds to Cut Diesel, Boost Solar Power in Outer Islands

NUKU’ALOFA, TONGA (22 October, 2015) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and development partners are extending assistance of nearly $5.8 million to help Tonga scale up the existing Outer Island Renewable Energy Project aimed at cutting reliance on diesel for power generation and expanding the use of solar power in its outer islands.

ADB is providing a grant of $1.44 million from its concessional Asian Development Fund, while the European Union and the Second Danish Cooperation Fund for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for Rural Areas are providing €3.00 million ($3.57 million equivalent) and $0.75 million for the current project. The Government of Tonga is providing counterpart support equivalent to $0.67 million.

“The additional financing will allow Tonga to reduce power distribution losses and fuel consumption while delivering the same amount of electricity to consumers,” said Woo Yul Lee, Energy Specialist in ADB’s Pacific Department. “The ultimate goal is to provide increased consumer access to electricity generated by solar power at a low cost.”

The current project is funding solar systems on Eua, Vava’u and Ha’apai, along with four outer islands in the Ha’apai group (Uiha, Nomuka, Ha’ano, Ha’afeva), as well as on Niuatoputapu and Niuafo’ou, a total of 9 outer islands.

Tonga has 177 islands scattered over 700,000 square kilometers, and its small population of about 103,000 people depends on imported diesel for over 90% of its electricity needs. As a result, the country is highly vulnerable to international fluctuations in fuel prices. The project supports the government’s drive to lower imports of diesel and to reduce the cost of electricity, which can run as high as $0.74 per kilowatt-hour in some remote areas.

The project is building solar generating facilities with a total distribution capacity of 1.32 megawatts at peak use, which is expected to reduce diesel imports by an estimated 0.48 million liters a year. The new solar generating systems will be connected to state-owned and community-owned power distribution networks on most of the target islands, with an existing solar home system on Niuafo’ou to be boosted, by the installation of additional capacity.

The project runs for over 6 years with an estimated completion date of December 2019.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including co-financing of $9.2 billion.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


UN: With Region ‘at A Crossroads’, Palestinian President Calls On UN’s Guterres To Convene International Peace Conference
The President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas on Friday called on the UN Secretary-General to convene an international peace conference and said that to ensure that this initiative is not open-ended, Israel must withdraw from the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem within one year...More>>

Myanmar: Human Rights ‘Catastrophe’; UN Calls For Urgent Action

Urgent action is needed to prevent the situation in Myanmar from escalating into a “full-blown conflict”, the UNHigh Commissioner for Human RightsMichelle Bachelet warned on Thursday. Ms. Bachelet’s alert came in a new report from her office OHCHR...
More>>



Afghanistan: Healthcare System On Brink Of Collapse, As Hunger Hits 95 Per Cent Of Families

Afghanistan’s health system is on the brink of collapse, the head of the World Health Organisation, WHO, warned on Wednesday, while on the streets of Kabul, the hunger families are suffering is as acute in urban areas as the drought-stricken rural parts of the country... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Global Leaders Set To Act To Increase Energy Access While Reducing Emissions At First UN Energy Summit In 40 Years

Significant new commitments for financing clean energy, increasing renewables and improving access to electricity are expected to be announced on 24 September at the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy... More>>

UN: More Than 130 Countries Expected To Announce National Commitments At UN Food Systems Summit
The Heads of State and Government from more than 90 countries are expected to announce their commitments to transform food systems to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals at the historic UN Food Systems Summit next week... More>>

UN: Only 2% Of Covid-19 Vaccines Have Been Administered In Africa

More than 5.7 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally, but only 2% of them in Africa, said World Health Organization (WHO) chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Tuesday... More>>