Solar photovoltaic panels mounted on rooftop of the Tuvalu Electricity Corporation office in Funafuti. (Source: TEC/Mafalu Lotolua)


Funafuti, Tuvalu
– The small Pacific Island nation of Tuvalu faces several energy challenges, arising mainly from the lack of indigenous fossil fuel sources and remoteness.

Tuvalu has no known sustainable energy resources and is heavily reliant on imported petroleum products for transport, electricity generation and household use such as cooking and lighting.

High fuel prices and fluctuations impact heavily on businesses and households. They limit growth and undermine food security, especially in the most isolated outer islands.

To address this, the Tuvalu Ministry of Public Utility & Infrastructure (MPUI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have signed a US$2.6 million project document paving the way for a sustainable energy project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The project, Facilitation of the Achievement of Sustainable National Energy Targets of Tuvalu (FASNETT), will assist the government's energy sector targets including generating 100% renewable energy-based electricity by the year 2020, as well as increase energy efficiency on Funafuti by 30%.

This week, key stakeholders gathered in Funafuti for the project inception workshop to discuss and agree to the project results framework, the management arrangements, the co-financing sources, and the multi-year work plan that would contribute to the realization of the expected outcomes for the next four years.

Speaking at the official opening, Acting Permanent Secretary and Assistant Secretary for the Ministry for Public Utilities and Infrastructure, Ms. Siemai Apinelu said, “Tuvalu has realized significant benefits from the energy sector in terms of electricity, and we are aware that there is greater potential in the promotion of renewable energy sources that are readily available locally.”

“Energy security and impact of climate change and sea level rise have driven the government to put in place a target of 100% Renewable energy (RE) by 2020 with the reviewed year of 2025. This is quite an ambitious target but can be achievable.”

“Hence this FASNETT project is one of its kind where its implementation is so timely in helping us achieve our target for 100% RE for power generation by 2025,” she added.

The project seeks to improve awareness and attitude towards sustainable renewable energy and energy efficiency technology applications in the public, commercial and energy sectors; establish a coherent and integrated implementation of enhanced policies, regulations and projects on energy development and utilization with the country’s Energy Act in support of national economic development; enhance energy utilization efficiency and development and application of feasible renewable energy resources in support of national economic development; increase application of viable climate resilient renewable energy and energy efficiency technology applications in the country; improve availability of, and access to, financing for climate resilient renewable energy and energy efficiency; and for the Government of Tuvalu, the financial sector and donor agencies to provide accessible financing for climate resilient renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The FASNETT project document, signed in February 2018, signifies the start of the project implementation.

 

For more information, or media interviews please contact:

Emma Mario, Programme Analyst, Resilience and Sustainable Development Programme, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji; email: emma.mario@undp.org

Merana Kitione, Communications Officer, Resilience and Sustainable Development Programme, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji; email: merana.kitione@undp.org

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