Energy data and effective policy-making needed to fulfil renewable energy targets

14 August 2014| Press Release


Thursday 14 August 2014, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is conducting a week-long training on ‘Energy Data and Policy Mechanisms to Support Implementation of Renewable Energy Targets’ at its Suva Regional office, in Fiji.

In 2013, the Pacific leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a sustainable future through the adoption of national renewable energy and energy efficiency targets as outlined in the Majuro Declaration on Climate Leadership.

While these commitments are encouraging, for countries to succeed in achieving them, much rests on collaborative efforts made today. Achieving renewable energy targets, for instance, requires immense capital and resources; a challenge to most of the Pacific Islands. Access to up-to-date, accurate and appropriate data is also of critical importance.

The training is timely in overcoming the constraints Pacific Island governments face in achieving renewable energy targets, says SPC’s Economic Development Division Director, John Hogan.

“This training is very important for the region for two reasons,” added Mr. Hogan. “Firstly it is a direct response to Pacific leaders’ decision to pursue renewable energy targets through the development of a comprehensive approach to data collection. Secondly, it provides an opportunity for countries to dialogue on the constraints inhibiting the achievement of these targets.”

Participants engaged in a group discussion during the training workshop.

The growth of renewable energy is not accurately captured in energy statistics and even when multiple data sources exist, there are often significant problems relating to quality, consistency and comparability of data sources. Efforts to address these issues will contribute to establish the Pacific Regional Data Repository (PRDR), which will assist countries formulate national policies to support the implementation of their renewable energy targets.

“The energy needs and opportunities in the Pacific region, coupled with the political will of its leadership, made the Pacific Islands an early programmatic priority for IRENA,” said Ms. Gauri Singh, Director of Country Support and Partnerships, IRENA. “Although the Pacific islands require targeted assistance, many share similar challenges. We hope that this training workshop will facilitate knowledge sharing and interaction with experts, and amongst the Pacific Island States, in response to some of those needs.”

The training workshop is convening stakeholders from member countries of both SPC and IRENA including representatives from energy departments, power utilities, and regulatory authorities. The participants are expected to gain confidence in using the Pacific Regional Data Repository, in addition to understand the processes involved in defining, collecting and disseminating energy data to feed into the PRDR and also serve their national objectives.

Based on priority areas of support requested by the Member countries, relevant policy mechanisms for small islands that contribute to fulfilling the renewable energy target will be discussed. This includes best practices to design net metering and feed-in tariff schemes in addition to discussing options for utility-led models for renewable energy project development. Participants will also be introduced to best practices and key requirements for bankable power purchase agreements.

The PRDR for the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative will be launched at the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States in Samoa next month.

Sustainable energy is one of six plenary meetings scheduled to take place at the SIDS conference. Sustainable energy is also part of the Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Dialogue which will run in parallel with the plenary meetings.

For more information, contact Caroline Tupoulahi-Fusimalohi, Research & Information Adviser, EDD, SPC, Suva, Fiji (Tel.: +679 3379 281; email: CarolineT@spc.int) or

Zhiyad Khan, Communications and Media Liaison, Economic Development Division, SPC, Suva, Fiji, (Tel: +679 337 9349; email: ZhiyadK@spc.int ) or visit the SPC website: www.spc.int or

Timothy Hurst, Chief Communications Officer, IRENA (Tel.: +971 2 417 9000; email: press@irena.org)

International Year of Small Island Developing States The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) welcomes the declaration of the International Year of Small Island Developing States as a global acknowledgement of their special cultures and diversity and of the challenges they face in achieving the benefits of sustainable development now and for future generations.

The UN Conference on Small Island Developing States (1–4 September 2014, Apia, Samoa) will focus on building partnerships for sustainable development. The conference offers unique opportunities for the region and SPC is already involved in several partnerships on behalf of its members (www.sids2014.org/). In particular, SPC seeks to further strengthen the effectiveness of its work through a collaborative, multi-sector approach to development challenges in the Pacific. SPC considers that multi-stakeholder partnerships, adapted to the development needs of island countries and their people, are one of the keys to driving sustainable economic, social and cultural development. This is particularly true in the Pacific region, which covers 20 of the 51 members of the SIDS Group, and which SPC is proud to have served for over 67 years.

Secretariat of the Pacific Community SPC works in the following sectors: fisheries, agriculture, forestry, water resources, geoscience, transport, energy, climate change and disaster risk management, public health, statistics, education, human rights, gender, youth and culture.

SPC member countries and territories: American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, United States of America, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.

About the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is mandated as the global hub for renewable energy cooperation and information exchange by 132 Members (130 States and the European Union). About 40 additional countries are in the accession process and actively engaged. IRENA supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy. The Agency promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind energy in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity. For more information, visit www.irena.org.