DPM Tovosia applauds Australia for commitment to renewable energy initiatives in SI

BY NED GAGAHE

Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Bradley Tovosia has commended the Australian Government for its generous support and commitment to renewable energy initiatives.

Speaking at the launch of three new business partnerships aimed at supporting small-scale, off-grid renewable energy in remote and rural areas in Solomon Islands, along with six others across the Pacific and Timor-Leste on Friday 7th of June at Heritage Park Hotel, Deputy Prime Minister Tovosia said the support has been instrumental in advancing Solomon Islands efforts towards sustainable development and energy independence.

The Australian Government yesterday unveiled a significant investment of SBD15.4 million in off-grid renewable energy projects across the Pacific region, including the Solomon Islands.

This initiative aims to enhance access to sustainable energy sources. In the Solomon Islands, the partnerships have been forged to advance renewable energy.

  1. Archipelago Energy and the Australian Government are collaborating to ensure access to renewable energy on Savo Island in the Central Province.
  2. Superfly, Mai-Ma’asina Green Belt, Save the Children Solomon Islands, and the Australian Government have joined forces to bring affordable solar power to communities in Malaita Province.
  3. Pelena Energy and the Australian Government are working together to provide affordable renewable energy to the Vavanga community in the Western Province.
  4. Additionally, a partnership involving Superfly, the Good Samaritan Hospital, and the Australian Government was announced earlier in February 2024, aiming to bolster energy security for essential healthcare services in Guadalcanal Province.

These partnerships represent a SBD8.1 million investment in the Solomon Islands, with the Australian Government contributing over SBD5.6 million, supplemented by contributions from partners in cash or in-kind.

“On behalf of the Ministry of Energy and Rural Electrification and the people of the Solomon Islands, I extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Australian Government for your generous support and unwavering commitment to our renewable energy initiatives.

“The successful implementation of the renewable energy project in our country stands as a testament to the strong and enduring partnership between our nations.

“Your support has been instrumental in advancing our efforts towards sustainable development and energy independence. The renewable energy project has not only provided reliable and clean energy to our communities but has also significantly contributed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, aligning with our shared commitment to combat climate change.

“The positive impacts of this project will be felt across the Solomon Islands. Our rural communities will into the future enjoy improved access to electricity when such projects are expanded to rural areas, which is enhancing their quality of life, boosting local economies, and providing new opportunities for education and healthcare. This transformation is a direct result of the Australian Government’s vision and generosity.

“I want to take this opportunity, to announce that my Ministry is embarking on reforms to elevate delivery of renewable energy projects as this, to new heights.

“Therefore, I appeal to all participating sectors, agencies and development partners domestically, regionally and internationally to actively collaborate with the responsible government agency to further enhance implementation, governance and delivery of renewable energy projects in the country. I am optimistic, that through these renewable energy projects, we can immensely extend electricity access to the people of Solomon Islands. This will alleviate poverty and commence sustainable developments in Solomon Islands, which will create a more robust and dynamic environment for economic growth.

“I would like to acknowledge the dedication and hard work of all those involved in this project, from the planners and engineers to the local workers and community members. Your collaboration and tireless efforts have been the driving force behind this remarkable achievement.

“As we celebrate this milestone, we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Australian Government in future initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable energy and development in the Solomon Islands. Together, we can build a brighter and more resilient future for our people.

“Thank you once again for your invaluable support and for being a steadfast ally in our journey towards sustainable development.” Deputy Prime Minister Tovosia said.

Meanwhile, the Off-Grid Renewable Energy Partnerships form part of the Australian Government’s Pacific Climate Infrastructure Financing Partnership (PCIFP) initiative, aiming to expand climate investments by partnering with businesses to deliver reliable and sustainable renewable energy to remote and rural communities in the Pacific and Timor-Leste.

Australia’s investment of SBD15.4 million in 10 partnerships across six countries in the Pacific and Timor-Leste, with partners contributing SBD8.6 million in cash or in-kind contributions, underscores its commitment to addressing energy needs in the region.

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