North Pacific ACP Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Project (North REP)
Access to affordable and reliable sources of energy is key to enhancing sustainable livelihoods in PACPs (Pacific members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of nations) and contributes to their economic growth and development.
In April 2009, PACP energy ministers expressed alarm at the increasing heavy reliance on imported petroleum products, which is seen as a major threat to energy security in the region.
Significant increases in petroleum prices over the 2007-2008 period resulted in serious implications for PACP economies, constraining growth and development prospects, and in some cases marginalising socio-economic gains and threatening stability.
While many PACP countries have set ambitious renewable energy targets and implemented various energy efficiency and conservation measures, the progress towards achieving these targets has been slow. An attributing factor is limited national expertise in renewable energy and energy efficiency strategies and low planning capacity.
To address these challenges faced by the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) and Palau, the European Union (EU) signed a multi-country programme with the contracting authority for the project, the National Authorising Officers (NAOs) of the respective governments. SPC has been mandated by the NAOs to implement the project via signature of a Standard Contribution Agreement.
The programme provides €14.44 million (approximately US$20 million) in assistance for a renewable energy and energy efficiency project that will help improve the quality of life on the outer islands and reduce dependency on fossil fuels. The project, known as North Pacific ACP Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Project (North-REP), complements the bilateral cooperation programmes of the individual EU member states. It is the single largest financial commitment ever made by the EU in these three countries.
North-REP is fully consistent with the policy objectives of participating governments and will carry out various activities at national and local government levels to raise the profile of renewable energy and energy efficiency and conservation. In the outer islands, it will provide renewable energy based electricity to households, schools and health centres. This is expected to have a positive impact on income generation and the quality of education and health services and thus resulting in poverty reduction, improvement in the quality of life and increased opportunities.