Energy diversification is key to enable Pacific Islands Countries meet their energy targets in the next decade and beyond, according to the Chair of the Regional Pacific NDC Hub Steering Committee, Mr. Tutii Chilton.
In his opening remarks during the workshop titled: “Countries driving regional energy transitions: towards a resilient Pacific” this month, Mr. Chilton said the challenges of energy transition of the next decade has shifted compared to the last decade.
“It will require strong emphasis on battery storage, e-mobility, energy efficiency, digitalisation, other sources of renewable energy including hydrogen fuel, and even securing strategic metals to support this transition,” said Mr. Chilton.
He said collaboration and coordination efforts between countries and development partners in the energy space in the region could be significantly improved to support this transition.
“This is a lesson learned from the implementation of the last regional energy framework and I am glad that Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and other Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific (CROP) agencies have recognised this and have worked together from the outset in developing the Framework for Energy Security and Resilience in the Pacific (FESRIP) with the support of Pacific Regional Infrastructure Facility (PRIF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Mr. Chilton also informed that the Heads of five CROP agencies (SPC, PIFS, SPREP, USP and PPA) have signed the FESRIP , paving the way for enhanced collaboration in the next 10 years and beyond in support of the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICT’s) energy transition from fossil fuel to clean, reliable and affordable renewable energy.
“I am confident that we are on the right footing and our meeting today of country, development partners, academia and donor representatives is testimony to that.”
The workshop brought together researchers, development partners, CROP agencies and country representatives to hear from countries about their current plans, the challenges they face putting these into action and opportunities for collaboration with development partners and researchers.
With a shared understanding of these challenges, a further workshop is being planned for September 2021, to focus on: developing pathways and opportunities for research and innovation to support PICTs and regional agencies in implementing the FESRIP priorities at a country level strengthening partnerships and supporting the development of concept notes for project proposals
These activities are also timely as the UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy in September 2021 and the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November 2021 provide further opportunities to garner support for energy security and resilience initiatives that mitigate climate impacts and natural hazards in the region.
The workshop was organised by the Pacific Community (SPC), the University of the South Pacific (USP), the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the Pacific Power Association (PPA), University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), Loughborough University and the University of New South Wales (UNSW). The work is supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s International Engagement Program, the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Research Fellowship scheme.