7 May 2013

Vanuatu plans to increase bio-mass energy production

7:00 pm on 7 May 2013

Vanuatu is to expand its use of bio-mass energy to supplement the production of renewable power from hydro, wind, solar and geothermal sources.

The country already produces some energy from coconut oil.

The main distributor of electricity in Vanuatu, Unelco, has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture for a pilot project to plant tree species for energy production.

The chief executive of Unelco, Yves Maurault, says it will not only help the country reduce its diesel imports but also allow farmers to develop their own energy.

He says the project aims to develop seven species suitable for energy production.

"Maybe not planting one species, but different species. Maybe doing what they call inter cropping - this means you can grow wood for biomass in the middle of the coconut trees or something like that. So it is a very interesting experience, coming in."