Pacific moving to a clean energy future

10 April 2013| Articles

In recognition of the potential that renewable energy holds for transforming the Pacific’s energy systems, the New Zealand Government and the European Union hosted the Pacific Energy Summit on 25-26 March in Auckland. This meeting brought together Pacific Island leaders, global development partners and the private sector to accelerate this energy transition by focusing on practical deliverable outcomes.

On 25-26 March the New Zealand Government and the European Union hosted the Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland. During the first plenary of the Summit the Director-General joined the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands and the Prime Minister of Tonga in speaking about renewable energy in the Pacific.

“Energy infrastructure is expensive everywhere, but scale and isolation make energy infrastructure cost in the Pacific even higher.  The impact of oil price and supply volatility has been severe - the increase in the price of petroleum has cost most Pacific Island Countries and Territories some 10 per cent of the gross national income in the span of six years“, said the Director-General.  “Reliance on oil runs counter to energy transformation – no electricity is more expensive in the region than that from diesel generation.  Transforming the energy sector away from petroleum dependency is the pathway to generate new growth, employment, and income that will be needed to make sustainable development in the region a reality.“

During the Summit the Director-General also moderated a Leaders’ panel which discussed the outcome of the Tonga Pacific Leaders’ Energy Summit, and set the scene for the ensuing discussion.

IRENA participated in a technical panel session entitled “Resource Mapping and Data Sharing”, which discussed the options for mapping renewable energy potential. Resource mapping is a crucial step towards ensuring that the information necessary to attract investment to the sector is available.

On the sidelines of the Summit the Director-General participated in a Business Breakfast panel alongside Hon. Simon Bridges, Minister of Energy, New Zealand, Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, and Steve Sawyer, Secretary-General of Global Wind Energy Council. While in New Zealand the Director-General took the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings, and was interviewed by members of the press including Radio New Zealand. 

Director-General addresses the Summit, with Hon. Murray McCully, Minister of Foreign Affairs, New Zealand and Andris Piebalgs, Development Commission, European Union.

Director-General Adnan Amin’s speech to the Pacific Energy Summit-Plenary One on Renewable Energy in the Pacific is available here.