Efforts to promote sustainable energy in the Pacific must continue
Friday 17 February 2012, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji –
The price of petroleum products in 2012 is anyone’s guess, but the effort to promote sustainable energy and energy security must continue, said Solomone Fifita, head of the SPC Economic Development Division’s Energy Programme.
Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) have embraced renewable energy and energy efficiency as a means of shielding their economies from the impacts of volatile oil prices. Most aim to increase the amount of energy they get from renewable energy sources. Cook Islands’ target is 50% by 2015 and 100% by 2020; Marshall Islands aims at 20% by 2020; Nauru aims at 50% by 2015; Samoa aims at an additional 20% by 2030; Tonga is aiming at a 50% increase and Vanuatu a 25% increase, both by the end of 2012; and Tuvalu’s target is a 100% increase by 2020. Setting targets is a reflection of these countries’ political commitment, said Fifita. They must, however, go even further and include the adoption of fiscal, financial and regulatory measures that can set the enabling environment for meeting these targets.
SPC’s Energy Programme therefore, welcomed the Reserve Bank of Fiji’s introduction of the Agriculture and Renewable Energy Loans Ratio. Effective from 29 February 2012, commercial banks in Fiji are required to hold two per cent of their deposits and similar liabilities in loans to the renewable energy sector.