Pacific Island nations to get green funding boost

A number of Pacific Island nations are to get a green funding boost. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved grants to support an Asian Development Bank (ADB) programme aiming […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

A number of Pacific Island nations are to get a green funding boost.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved grants to support an Asian Development Bank (ADB) programme aiming to boost the adoption of renewable energy in the region.

The proposed Pacific Islands Renewable Energy Investment Programme will help the Cook Islands, Tonga, the Republic of Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Nauru and Samoa transition from diesel power sources to solar, hydropower and wind energy.

The GCF approved an initial $12 million (£9.7m) grant for the Cook Islands to install energy storage systems and encourage private green investments. It is thought the main island of Rarotonga will see the share of renewable generation rise from 15% to more than 50% as a result.

Elizabeth Wright-Koteka, Chief of Staff on the Cook Islands, said: “The GCF funding will allow Cook Islands to ramp up renewable energy integration onto the grid and lower the cost of power generation. This will have significant benefits to our economy and help achieve the government’s objectives of a low carbon sustainable economy.”

It also approved a $5 million (£4m) grant to develop energy plans, build skills and implement reforms in the other six nations.

This programme will support a range of renewable projects worth more than $400 million (£322m), including 22 solar sites, five wind farms, eight hydropower stations, seven energy storage units and 25 green mini-grids.

That is expected to save more than 120,000 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide annually.