EU funds solar projects in Pacific outer islands

The off-grid areas of one of the least developed island states in the Pacific region will soon be powered by renewable energy, thanks to funding provided by the EU. Laos-based […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The off-grid areas of one of the least developed island states in the Pacific region will soon be powered by renewable energy, thanks to funding provided by the EU.

Laos-based Sunlabob Renewable Energy has been awarded the contract to supply solar equipment to be installed in the outer islands of Kiribati.

Funded by the European Development Fund and managed by the Government of the Republic of Kiribati, the installations will provide a reliable electricity supply in homes, businesses, training facilities, schools and community centres across the small-island nation.

The island state is currently highly dependent on petroleum imports for power generation and only around 30% of households who live on Kiribati’s outer islands have access to electricity. The Pacific region meets around 80% of its electricity generation needs from imported fossil fuels.

European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs said: “At the moment, the Pacific is held back by its remote location and lack of energy access. It is clear that there can be no development without sustainable and affordable energy. At the same time, there are considerable opportunities for the private sector in this area.”

The European Commission has contributed more than $36 million (£23.5m) for renewable energy resources in the Pacific island region in the last six years.