29 Oct 2014

Tonga to be 100 percent renewable by 2020

3:46 pm on 29 October 2014

Tonga has set a new goal of having 100 percent renewable energy by 2020.

The Tonga Energy Road Map originally planned for the country to be 50 percent renewable by 2012, but later pushed that goal out to 2020.

Now that target is 100 percent but director, 'Inoke Vala, says while the country's reliance on renewables is currently about six percent, he is optimistic Tonga can be running entirely off renewables in just six years.

Solar panels that power the lighthouse on Tiritiri Matangi Island.

Photo: PHOTO NZ

He says it has a comprehensive plan in place, which includes biomass, wind and solar projects, is upgrading its grid and exploring ways renewable energy can be stored more long-term.

"We have projects that are being designed and confirmed and then we will complete construction by next year. We are currently doing a 1 megawatt project to be completed by March next year. Other projects covering the outer islands will be completed by the end of the year, and we are looking at other projects at the same time."

'Inoke Vala says they do not yet know how much the projects will cost.