The European Union and the Republic of Palau today inaugurated a 100kW grid connected solar photovoltaic system at the Palau Capitol Complex, demonstrating commitment to the development of the energy sector and enabling additional access to affordable and reliable energy sources. The Capitol Complex system is currently the largest operational European Union system in Palau.
“The European Union’s partnership with Palau and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community has also been extended with the installation currently underway, of a 150kW solar photovoltaic grid connected system at the track and field site, which is part of our North Pacific ACP Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Project, or North-REP,” said Mr David O’Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer of the European External Action Service.
“The North-REP aims to strengthen the energy sector through energy efficiency and grid-connected renewable energy and increase the access of remote populations to reliable electricity services. As a result, over 15,000 people in the Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, will directly benefit from an improvement in their quality of life and a reduction in their dependency on fossil fuels,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
The European Union’s partnership with Palau has significantly contributed to meeting the island’s energy targets and improving livelihoods. This is being achieved through a multiple approach addressing policies to create an enabling environment for renewable energy and energy efficiency; introducing a renewable energy course into the Palau Community College curriculum; and through a framework to address energy security focusing on improving services, educational programmes, training of local energy personnel and local ownership.
“Palau has taken a balanced approach to the development of its energy sector through such partnerships so as to enhance sustainability and socio-economic impacts,” said Hon. Charles Obchang, Minister for Public Infrastructure, Industries and Commerce.
“North REP has been a terrific example of where an effective partnership between Palau, the European Union and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community has made a direct and significant impact on the lives and future of people in Palau,” said Colin Tukuitonga, Director General, of the SPC.
Since 2008, the European Union has provided almost Euro 100 million (US 134.6 million) to support renewable energy technology and promote energy efficiency in small island states in the Pacific region. The €15.49 million (approx. US$20 million) North-REP programme is the single, largest financial commitment made by the European Union to strengthen the energy sector in Pacific countries.