Building capacities in renewable energies in the Pacific Islands

March 31, 2017

The Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) concluded a week-long technical workshop focusing on grid connection of renewable energies in the Pacific Islands. The workshop was hosted with the Pacific Power Association (PPA) in the Republic of Fiji and developed the skills and knowledge of engineers and managers from utilities in the Southern Pacific Islands. The workshop was led by GSEP member Kansai Electric Power Company and was attended by over 20 managers and engineers from 12 countries.

"This conference is quite timely, as many of our members are now increasing the capacity of renewable energy connected to their grids,” said Mr. Andrew Daka, Executive Director of the PPA in his opening remarks. “This workshop will enhance the abilities of our members to incorporate more renewable energy into their energy mix. Since 2005, the GSEP and PPA have been working together to improve the capacities of local utilities. These workshops have helped our group of small island utilities improve their knowledge of renewable energy and increase our share of renewables to help combat climate change."

This workshop was part of a series of human capacity-building programs GSEP has led in the region in partnership with PPA over the past 12 years. With this program, we are developing local capacity and knowledge in the different aspects of energy project development and implementation in Small Island Developing States that are the most vulnerable to climate change. The beneficiaries of these programs are able to take the knowledge and information from these workshops and use it in their day-to-day work.

"I am very pleased with the content and quality of this workshop,” said Mr. Eparama Tawake, General Manager of Generation at the Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA). “I am currently working on projects that integrate 20 MW of renewable energies (solar PV and battery backup) into the grid. I will be able to use what I have learned and apply it at FEA."

The workshop was particularly relevant to the local context as Fiji will be leading the United Nations climate negotiations next year at COP23. It will be the first Pacific nation to fill that role.