(Suva, Fiji) – Stakeholders in the energy sector have gathered in Fiji for a national Renewable Energy Investment Forum. The Forum will provide an opportunity to present new supporting conditions in Fiji for investing in renewable energy and engage with existing and potential independent power producers.
Organized by the Department of Energy with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Global Environment Facility (GEF)-funded Fiji Renewable Energy Power Project (FREPP), the Forum will also showcase some promising renewable energy power sector investment opportunities and supporting national frameworks by project developers, Fiji-based financial organizations and energy state-owned enterprises.
According to the Department of Energy, as of 2007, 89 percent of Fiji’s population had access to electricity. Under the proposed 2013-2020 National Energy Policy, a key target is to have 100 percent access by 2020.
“Fiji’s electricity system needs significant local and foreign investment,” said Honorable Mr Pio Tikoduadua, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. “Over the next decade, an estimated FJ$1.5 billion is needed and this cannot be financed by the public sector alone. Fiji needs to attract private investment in generation capacity.”
“There has been limited private investment in Fiji’s power sector to date and this will need to change if we are to meet key national development targets” said Honorable Mr Tikoduadua.
Hydropower currently provides for over 50 percent of Fiji’s electricity supply and in the medium term (until 2020) there is potential to raise the share of renewable electricity to over 80 percent, given that there are still likely a number of medium size undeveloped hydro sites and significant unexplored geothermal, solar and wind resources.
“Fiji, like many small island states, rely heavily on important fossil fuel. Investing in renewable energy will facilitate that people not only have access to clean but also affordable energy services while treating the environment responsibly,” said Akiko Fujii, UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative. “A key focus of our work is to support policy makers and communities promoting access to sustainable energy services like renewable energy.
The Fiji Renewable Energy Power Project is implemented by Fiji’s Department of Energy in partnership UNDP and funded by the Global Environment Facility. The goal of FREPP is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Fiji’s power sector by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy resources. The objective of the project is the removal of barriers to the widespread and cost effective of grid-based renewable energy supply via commercially viable renewable energy technologies.