A new Energy Roadmap for the kingdom of Tonga

22 June 2010| Articles

IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) and the Kingdom of Tonga will hold an official Signing Ceremony in Abu Dhabi on June 24th to mark a successful collaboration on the 2010-2020 Tonga Energy RoadMap (TERM).

As a result of this partnership between IRENA and the Pacific nation, Tonga will progress from almost 100% dependent on imported diesel for electrical generation, to having a very ambitious energy plan that will stretch to its outer islands by 2020. 

The Kingdom currently relies on imported diesel for electricity; in 2009, 19% of Tonga’s GDP and 25% of its imports consisted of diesel purchases. Now, with the crucial assistance of IRENA, Tonga has developed the 2010-2020 Tonga Energy RoadMap (TERM), which aims for 50% reduction of diesel importation accomplished through a range of renewable technologies, including wind and solar, as well as innovative efficiencies.

 “Tonga was one of the first nations to become a member of IRENA. In June 2009, just a few days after I was elected, Tonga was the first Member State to come to me for assistance” recalls IRENA Interim Director-General Hélène Pelosse.

Her Royal Highness Princess Salote Pilolevu Tuita (Patron of the Tonga Energy Road Map) said, “The Kingdom of Tonga has a deep understanding of the importance of renewable energy and energy efficiency.  For the sake of stable and equitable development in the Kingdom, we urgently need to reduce our dependence on imported diesel and improve access to electricity in rural areas,”

IRENA’s wide range of expertise has been invaluable in developing the Tonga Energy RoadMap. IRENA helped deliver the Off Grid component of the TERM, as well as giving essential guidance on policies and finance mechanisms. IRENA will use the TERM as a blueprint to develop a toolkit for similar small islands.

The Kingdom of Tonga is an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, with 169 islands, 36 of them inhabited. The Kingdom stretches over a distance of about 800 kilometers (500 miles) in a north-south line.