25 Nov 2009

Tonga considers options for renewable energy generation

5:25 pm on 25 November 2009

Tonga is a step closer to a major increase in renewable energy generation after meeting development partners last week.

The Tongan government plans to lower its dependence on fossil fuel for electricity generation from 100 to 50 percent in the next three years.

At the meeting, the development partners, including the Asian Development Bank and NZAid, presented an interim review on Tonga's energy sector.

The kingdom's renewable energy co-ordinator, Ma'ana 'Akau'ola, says the interim roadmap is insightful.

"It provided current issues that need to addressed by our single provider, which is Tonga Power Limited. It also provided two scenarios that were able to demonstrate to the Tongan government what sort of magnitude and costs or investments were required to achieve this 50 percent electricity generation from renewable energy sources."

Ma'ana 'Akau'ola says it's also looking at how the kingdom can secure its fuel at a more competitive rate.

An energy roadmap will be published early next year after further research.