The need to establish a Pacific Islands Energy Regulators Network to foster cooperation and share experiences in assessing and approving energy prices and tariffs and to learn and help each other is a key outcome discussed at this week’s 6th Pacific Energy Advisory Group meeting, in Suva, Fiji.

The advisory group, made up of representatives from Pacific Island Countries and Territories’ energy offices, power utilities and petroleum industry, pricing tribunals or commerce commissions, regional organisations, development partners and the private sector, is one of the two consultation mechanisms established to ensure that the vision of the Framework for Action on Energy Security in the Pacific (FAESP) is achieved in a collaborative manner.

This week’s meeting facilitates the opportunity for participants to report on the implementation progress of their national energy roadmaps, share experiences and identify challenges as well as opportunities for collaboration.

Other important areas of discussion included the Pacific Regional Data Repository and its new strategy, a new Pacific Efficient Lighting Strategy to phase out inefficient lights from the region and an update on progress with the establishment of the Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency – a Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Centre of Excellence.

The Pacific Community (SPC’s) Economic Development Division’s work on advising member countries on their petroleum pricing was praised by Ms. Tatiana Burn from the Cook Islands Price Tribunal as stellar and dramatic.

‘The Cook Islands has benefitted greatly from this service and I want to put on record our appreciation of the great service we have received,” said Burn.

Mr. Sione Lotulua Lousiale Kava, Petroleum Officer from American Samoa also expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to share the American Samoan experience as well as take back useful information, highlighting his particular interest in the fuel pricing template as well as the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Geothermal project for the region, which will be launched during the 21st United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris.

As Pacific Island countries submit their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions in the build up to next month’s COP21 Climate Change Conference energy officials at the meeting were also reminded of their important role in supporting these commitments.

“Pacific Island countries are submitting their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions and their energy / greenhouse gas emission targets and we as energy officials would have to put a lot of effort into its implementation,” stated SPC’s Deputy Director-Transport, Mr. Theirry Nervale, in addressing the meeting.

The meeting is being attended by representatives of governments and administrations from American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Palau, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Other representatives includethe International Union for the Conservation of Nature, The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the Pacific Power Association and The University of the South Pacific, The European Union, International Renewable Energy Agency, Global Green Growth Institute, Sustainable Energy Industry Association of the Pacific Islands, United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Sunergise and MV Solar.

The meeting ends today.

Media contacts: Christina Hazelman SPC Research and Information Assistant, christinah@spc.int or +679 3379479

Useful link: Meeting presentations can be found on the Pacific Regional Data Repository http://prdrse4all.spc.int/production/node/4/content/sixth-meeting-pacific-energy-advisory-group-peag-meeting-2015