Henk Rogers, multimillionaire video game designer and entrepreneur and chairman and CEO of the Blue Planet Foundation was hosted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Oceania Regional Office (ORO) in April while in Fiji for the launch of the Moana Pasifika Voyage.
Blue Planet Foundation is a non-profit organization that has been pushing for greater energy efficiency and opening up a broader space for renewable electricity generation. One of its major achievements was successfully lobbying for the State of Hawaii’s new renewable energy goals, which require “100 percent renewable energy” by 2045. Henk Rogers aims to make Hawaii into a “global model for energy independence”.
Rogers describes his primary mission in life is to end the use of fossil fuels and he has been travelling to various destinations around the world including Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands and Denmark to better understand the different technology and policy options for eradicating the use of fossil fuels. He is extending his vision to assist Pacific Island Countries achieve their 100% renewable energy targets.
IUCN ORO’s Energy Programme Co-ordinator, Anare Matakiviti accompanied Henk and his technical team to visit Fiji, Tonga, and Tuvalu where they met and discussed with key decision makers on ways of fast tracking the achievement of their 100% target.
This is the first consultation and it is anticipated that further consultations will be organized until a clear 100% renewable Energy pathway is developed for the governments and where Blue Planet will be a key partner. The mission served as an opportunity for Henk and the Blue Planet Foundation team to gain a better understanding of the situation in the three countries while also providing the opportunity for the countries to develop an appreciation of Henk Rogers and Blue Planet Foundation’s concept for achieving an 100% renewable energy economy.
Moving forward, Henk and his team have advised that a thorough evaluation and assessment of Fiji, Tuvalu and Tonga’s situations will be conducted before plans can be made to move the three countries to 100% renewable generation, particularly in the power sector.
Henk also met with other Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific representatives based in Suva including the Pacific Community (SPC), Pacific Power Association (PPA), Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), and the University of the South Pacific (USP), and discussing the work that has been done, challenges being faced, realistic approaches, and ways forward to meeting 100% renewable Energy Targets in Pacific Small Island Developing States.