Solar panels at the Melsisi Catholic Mission on Pentecost Island. (Photo: Eugenia Katsigris)


Port Vila, Vanuatu
– Renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, hydro and biofuel are under-utilized to meet the energy requirements in Vanuatu. According to Vanuatu’s Acting Director-General for the Ministry of Climate Change and Natural Disaster Mr. Reedly Tari, “Only 80% of urban and 17% of rural households in Vanuatu have access to electricity. Over 80% of the population cooks over open hearth fire.”

The 2013 National Energy Road Map (NERM) for Vanuatu outlines the pathway to achieving electricity access for all citizens using renewable energy for power generation and improving energy efficiency in rural areas. Vanuatu requires incremental support to meet its NERM target.

Sustainability of off-grid renewable energy power systems is limited - even when systems are installed for free, lack of funds for repairs and lack of local access to parts and services repeatedly result in broken down systems for the long-run. For village-scale renewable energy power systems, in-country capabilities are extremely limited, so that the few systems that are set up require costly international contractors and take prolonged periods to complete. Dissemination of energy efficient cook stoves in rural areas is unnoticeable.

To address this, the Vanuatu Ministry of Climate Change and Natural Disaster 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 Barrier Removal for Achieving the National Energy Road Map Targets of Vanuatu (BRANTV) Project is funded by the GEF and implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Vanuatu Department of Energy. BRANTV has the objective of enabling the achievement of energy access, sustainable energy, and green growth targets of Vanuatu (as per the NERM).

Mr.Tari said, “Population are spread across the islands making access to grid-based electricity a challenge, rural communities are unable to afford the high upfront costs of setting up their own solar household systems, no national standards are in-place to ensure that quality renewable energy technologies are procured and installed, and there is an overall general lack of awareness and capacity.”

This week, key stakeholders gathered in Port Vila for the project inception workshop and induction training to discuss and agree to the project results framework, the project outputs and activities, the implementation 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.

The project has the following components:  

  • Capacity and awareness enhancement on sustainable energy and low carbon development;
  • Improvement of energy policy and planning formulation and implementation;
  • Institutional framework enhancement for sustainable energy and low carbon development;
  • Sustainable energy and low carbon initiatives financing; and
  • Sustainable energy and low carbon technology applications.

The BRANTV project document, signed in November 2018, signified the start of project implementation.

For more information, or media interviews please contact:

Emma Mario, Programme Analyst, Resilience & Sustainable Development Team, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Email: emma.mario@undp.org

Merana Kitione, Communications Officer, Resilience & Sustainable Development Team, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Email: merana.kitione@undp.org

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