As part of the Global Environment Facility Pacific Alliance for Sustainability (GEFPAS) Low Carbon Islands project, implemented by the UN Environment Programme and executed by IUCN ORO, a two-day intensive workshop was held on 29-30 October in Nadi, Fiji Islands to introduce and detail the concepts involved in Independent Power Production and Power Purchase Agreements between national utilities and the private sector. The Low Carbon Islands project is being implemented in the countries of Nauru, Niue, and Tuvalu, where integration of private sector into the process of adopting renewable energy and energy efficient technologies is being emphasized through regulatory review & policy development, financial mechanism support, and public awareness activities. To augment interdepartmental coordination, we requested participation through representative delegates from the respective government Law Offices and Ministries of Finance alongside the national utilities.
In order to ensure each country is prepared to facilitate regulation and establishment of standards pertaining to decentralized distribution of electricity production through renewable energy technology, making sure legislative and financial personnel have the foundational knowledge of energy terminology and technology is imperative. With decades of experience in the region, IUCN enlisted Dr. Herb Wade to serve as training facilitator for the two days of dialogue. With additional presentations and contributions from Jonathan Kahn of Sunergise Ltd., Sarah Hemstock, PacTVET Co-ordinator at SPC, Thomas Jensen of UNDP, Andrew Daka of the Pacific Power Association, and Eparama Tawake of the Fiji Electricity Authority, the representatives from Nauru, Niue, and Tuvalu were given an intensive overview of renewable energy considerations and challenges in the region with specific attention laid upon the individual scenarios now experienced in their countries.
By identifying the current renewable energy contributions to the grid of each Low Carbon Islands nation and discussing the goals and paths to achieve energy independence, an action plan was formulated to continue policy development between legislative offices and the Utility with appropriate economic understanding of energy generation and costs for the Ministries of Finance to provide budgetary oversight. With the guidance and advice of IUCN’s Environmental Law Programme Coordinator, Maria Muavesi, the final year of the Low Carbon Islands project shall see a legal drafting process following review & stocktake of policies & precedents already established. Introduction of net metering, determination of feed-in tariffs, review of billing arrangements, formalization of national certifications to regional standards, and Power Purchase Agreement terms are all now on the agenda for development in the coming year with a core working group of informed stakeholders.
For additional details or questions, please contact Andrew Irvin, Energy Programme Officer, at [email protected]