The global economic crisis has seen inflation take a toll on key sectors across the Pacific, and the regions energy sector has been one of the hardest hit. The case for reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels and transitioning towards sustainable energy sources has never been more pressing.
To help meet this challenge, the Pacific Community’s (SPC), Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) in partnership with the Spanish Centre for Research in Energy, Environment, and Technology (CIEMAT) hosted a 5-day online capacity building and certification program on sustainable energy solutions, specifically tailored to the needs of Islands and Territories in the Pacific, Caribbean, African, and Indian Ocean.
The goal of the training was to ensure that sustainable energy trainers are well equipped to effectively address the urgent demand from small islands and technical institutions for affordable training and certification programs in SE using E-Learning modules.
The Online Capacity Building on Sustainable Energy for Islands was developed under the umbrella of the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres (GN-SEC), United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Small Island Sustainable Energy and Climate Resilience Organisation (SIDS DOCK) and the Spanish Centre for Research in Energy, Environment and Technology (CIEMAT).
The Tongan Department of Energy's Specialist Energy Planner, Mrs. Feauini Laumanu, highlighted the need to expand sustainable energy training to outlying and rural areas. “The electrical technicians at the outer islands will be able to upgrade their knowledge and abilities thanks to the online capacity building. Trainers can still deliver training online on time and actively despite the difficulties with transportation and communication at the outer islands”.
"This could be an opportunity for us to start E-Learning trade certificates to respond to the lack of local and regional capacity and expertise, which is a major barrier to creating sustainable energy markets and industries," Mr. Fatuimoana Pahulu, Senior Instructor on Electricity, Tonga Institute of Science Technology added.
Senior employees from the Department of Energy, Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC), as well as TVET instructors from Saine High School in Vava'u and the Tonga Institute of Science and Technology (TIST), attended the seminar.