The Government of Kiribati has embarked on promoting the utilization of indigenous renewable energy for power and non-power applications through the ‘Promoting Outer Island Development through the Integrated Energy Roadmap’ (POIDIER) Project. This will reduce fossil fuel imports to a minimum following the high and volatile costs of importing and distributing fossil fuels, particularly to the outer islands, which the government has been battling with.
The POIDIER project, funded by the Global Environment Fund (GEF) aims to enable enhanced outer island development through the achievement of the renewable energy and energy efficiency targets of Kiribati. The project was officially launched on 28 January 2021 with an Inception workshop at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy (MISE) Boardroom in Betio, South Tarawa in the Republic of Kiribati.
Speaking at the official opening, Assistant Secretary for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy (MISE), Mr. Bwarerei Takireti stated “The Government of Kiribati is realizing the significance of energy transition and have set its renewable energy targets to increase the use of renewable energy by 40% for outer islands with 20% energy efficiency improvement and 100% renewable energy for rural public/private institutions”.
The workshop was facilitated by the POIDIER project management unit and was attended by key stakeholders of the POIDIER project on South Tarawa including representatives from Government Ministries, State Owned Enterprises, NGOs, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, UNDP Regional Hub (Bangkok), Energy Planning Unit and Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy (MISE).
In his keynote address, the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative a.i. Mr. Kevin Petrini, stated “The POIDIER project is a four-year climate change mitigation project funded by GEF 6 funding cycle with a total budget of US$5,379,452 implemented in partnership with the Government of Kiribati and UNDP”. He further added, “In the climate change mitigation/energy portfolio of our office, POIDIER has the highest budget so far”.
Discussions with the key stakeholders centred on the POIDIER project document including the outputs, activities, management arrangement, total budget and work plan followed by co-financing presentations from co-financing entities (i.e., the Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy (MISE), Development Bank of Kiribati (DBK) and UNDP).
The stakeholders reinforced their support particularly on the electrification of outer Islands and provided valuable inputs and comments on the proposed list of islands that will host the demonstration activities such as the solar PV mini-grid technology.
Key project activities include a training program for local technical experts and outer island personnel on renewable energy/energy efficiency technologies, development of all-island renewable energy/energy efficiency plans for each outer island, “road show” visits to villages across the demonstration islands to promote successful dissemination and use of renewable energy/energy efficiency technologies, establishment of a grant fund to provide partial investment (up to one-third) for productive use equipment associated with PV mini-grids.
Additionally, solar PV mini-grids with battery storage and plans for operation & maintenance and fee collection will be designed and demonstrated, and other activities relevant for boosting the energy policies and standards, and technical expertise and enhancing deployment of renewable energy / energy efficiency technologies.
The Energy Planning Unit (EPU) is hopeful that they will successfully achieve the Kiribati Integrated Energy Road Map Targets after four years of implementation.
The UN Development Programme is pleased to continue its support to energy activities to improve livelihoods and achieve sustainable development objectives at the local, national and global levels.
For more information, or media interviews please contact:
Tioti Taaitee, POIDIER Project Manager, Energy Planning Unit, Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Development (MISE), Republic of Kiribati; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Emma Sale, Programme Analyst, Resilience and Sustainable Development Programme, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji; email: email@example.com