18 Oct 2011

Tongan government welcomes solar power for schools

3:31 pm on 18 October 2011

The government of Tonga has welcomed the start of a three-part project that aims to introduce renewable solar power systems to all high schools in the country.

The estimated 3.2 million US dollar project is funded through the New Zealand Aid Programme, with in-kind support from community development trusts and the Ministry of Education in Tonga.

The Minister for Education in Tonga, Dr Ana Tauseulungaki, says the project, whose pilot phase begins this week, will be hugely beneficial to Tonga.

"It's going to assist with environmental issues which we promote very strongly in education. Secondly, it will help in terms of our budget because it will reduce the amount of money we currently pay out for electricity bills which is very high. And it will probably reduce the environmental issues that affect our environment."

Dr Tauseulungaki says the money saved by reducing the schools energy bill can be used for school materials.