28th April, 2021 On Tuesday 27 April, the Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) marked its fourth anniversary and the completion of its First Operational Phase:2017-2021. The occasion was marked with a joint ceremony with the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communication (MEIDECC) to launch the Tonga Energy RoadMap (TERM Plus: 2021-2035).
Delivering the keynote address, Mr Paula Pouvalu Ma’u, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MEIDECC highlighted Tonga’s plan to minimize the use of fossil fuel and protecting itself from the adverse impact of oil price shocks, while at the same time, increase access to a secure and efficient sustainable use of environmentally clean energy. The CEO noted that the TERM Plus puts special emphasis on energy generation and the transportation sector and welcomed collaboration and contribution of Development Partners, such as the PCREEE, to achieving Tonga’s Energy Targets.
Presenting the deliveries of the PCREEE in its first four (4) years of operations, Mr Solomone Fifita of the PCREEE outlined that the Centre has been fully established and is fully operational from Nukuálofa. The PCREEE has linked the Pacific Islands to the experiences and expertise in ten (10) other Centres throughout the world, which are members of the UNIDO-coordinated Global Network of Sustainable Energy Centres. On creating a favourable environment for private sector investments, the Centre has played a key role in the establishment of the Office of the Pacific Energy Regulators Alliance or OPERA, which is funded by ADB and housed at SPC in Suva. The Centre has trained more than a thousand (1,000) people throughout the Pacific Islands and introduced formal qualifications on sustainable energy into the national qualifications of the Pacific Islands. The Centre has assisted to establish national sustainable energy industry associations through the region and has also led effort to assist the Pacific Islands to improve energy efficiency in land transport.
Director of SPC’s Geoscience Energy and Maritime Division, Dr. Andrew Jones, reaffirmed that the PCREEE remains a strategic component of the Division. “With the global target of net zero emissions by 2050 and the urgent need to accelerate the transition to renewable and energy efficient economies, the role of the private sector in pursuing this target becomes even more critical. Therefore, the need for PCREEE’s private sector-focused technical assistance and services remains very relevant to SPC and its members.”
Representing UNIDO, Mr Stein Hansen reaffirmed UNIDO’s commitment to the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway and the promotion of inclusive, integrated and sustainable management of the natural resources and ecosystems of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). UNIDO has not only coordinated the establishment of the global network of sustainable energy centres but has also attracted donors and partners to work on emobility and smart island grids in the Pacific SIDS.
In his congratulatory message, Mr Martin Ledolter, Managing Director, Austrian Development Agency announced that the achievements of the PCREEE in the four years of its first operational phase has now made it possible, and for the first time, for ADA to sign a contribution agreement with the PCREEE’s host organisation (SPC). This new and exciting collaboration is to support PCREEE’s Second Operational Phase and the implementation of its Business Plan, in the strategic areas of smart mobility and renewable energy mini-grids.
The celebration was a joint event with the Department of Energy of MEIDECC and was supported and coordinated with the kind assistance of Mrs Lucy Faánunu (Officer in Charge) and the staff of MEIDECC office in Vavaú,