9 Jun 2009

EU-renewable energy projects will benefit many - says programme manager

11:26 am on 9 June 2009

The Programme manager for the European Union-supported Renewable Energy Project in five Pacific Islands says there will be many long-term benefits from the funding of solar power.

Niue, Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia will be receiving 16.75 million US dollars from the EU over the next four years to provide solar power to improve energy efficiency.

Katerina Syngellakis says six remote schools in Marshall Islands will receive electricity for the first time once solar panels are installed.

"We're already getting reports that there are benefits in terms of tests results of students, that because they're able to study in the evenings with the lights from the solar systems and also that women have more chance to do handicraft in the evenings. So although we haven't been able to verify this in numbers, potentially increasing their opportunities to generate income."

Katerina Syngellakis says the EU hopes to continue providing funding for renewable energy projects and plans to extend its provision to other Pacific Island nations.