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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will support over US$1 billion in energy investments in the Pacific between 2018–2021, including 19 projects to help countries in the subregion have better access to quality, affordable, and sustainable energy sources, according to a new ADB report.
The Pacific Energy Update 2018 provides a comprehensive overview of ADB’s energy-focused work in the Pacific. The publication highlights the impacts of ADB-supported energy initiatives completed in 2017 and ongoing in 2018, while providing details of ADB’s future plans in the subregion’s energy sector.
“ADB is helping the Pacific region plan for a renewable energy future and improve regional energy systems by promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy; maximizing access to energy for all; and supporting energy sector reform, capacity building, and effective governance,” said ADB’s Transport, Energy, and Natural Resources Division Director for the Pacific Olly Norojono.
The report highlighted ADB’s efforts and partnership with governments, communities, private sector, and other development partners to help improve the availability and quality of clean and affordable sustainable power in the Pacific region. It also provides a country-by-country snapshot of various energy projects and technical assistance, which Pacific governments have prioritized for ADB assistance.
Cofinanced by ADB, the European Union, and the Government of the Cook Islands, the Cook Islands Renewable Energy Sector Project will help lower the country’s reliance on fossil fuels by building solar-powered plants on five of its islands and help the government achieve its goal of supplying 100% of inhabited islands with renewable energy by 2020.
Meanwhile, ADB is assisting the Government of Fiji in developing the institutional capacity for regulation of the country’s electricity sector, while developing a sector investment planning framework.
The Yap Renewable Energy Development Project in the Federated States of Micronesia, funded by two ADB loans, supported the construction of a wind farm capable of withstanding typhoons. Grid-connected solar panels were also installed on about five government buildings across the island and new fuel-efficient diesel generators replaced aging ones.
Nauru’s power outlook improved dramatically when the government installed two new energy-efficient, diesel generators—completed under the Nauru Electricity Supply Security and Sustainability Project, with initial grant funding from ADB and the European Union, and later supported with additional funding from the governments of Australia and Nauru.
Together with other ADB-financed renewable energy interventions, ADB is assisting Papua New Guinea achieve its national electrification objectives while promoting a shift to clean energy from power generated from fossil fuels. Meanwhile, ADB’s energy assistance in the Solomon Islands include supporting the country’s drive to tap more of its energy from clean sources, including hydro and solar power.
ADB approved the Pacific Renewable Energy Investment Facility in June 2017 to help fund a series of renewable energy projects and sector reforms in the smallest 11 Pacific island countries . For instance, a project to help reduce the Marshall Islands’ consumption of fossil fuels and increase renewable energy generation—20% of the country’s energy mix by 2020— received a $2 million grant from the facility in December 2017.
ADB is currently supporting 15 active projects in 11 countries in the Pacific worth US$426 million.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.
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