New report sheds light on PNG power targets
A new ANZ funded report is recommending a restructure of PNG Power in order for Papua New Guinea to reach its energy targets.
A new report has recommended a restructure of PNG Power in order for Papua New Guinea to reach its energy targets.
PNG's current power grid provides power to only eight percent of the population and the "Powering PNG into the Asian Century" report says the country will need to triple electricity generation to achieve its aim of 70 percent national coverage by 2030.
The author of the ANZ-funded report, Grant Mitchell, told Koroi Hawkins PNG must look to alternative forms of power generation.
GRANT MITCHELL: So in rural and remote areas the data that we have suggests that it is 8 percent right now and to get to 70 percent overall, you know simply because the vast majority of Papua New Guineans live in rural and remote areas you need to get to about two thirds access outside the metropolitan areas. So it is ambitious but you know the other half of it is that about half of the new demand we think is needed, is needed just to support the development of the economy generally. So obviously those two things go together but it is really to challenges in one and you need to solve both if you are going to get PNG to where it has decided it needs to be.
KOROI HAWKINS: And you are proposing some innovative solutions for some of the harder to reach areas?
GM: Yea, I mean it is a great time to write the report because many of the things that are now going to be at the heart of what PNG's new power sector looks like wouldn't have been possible 10 or 20 years ago. We have run quite a lot of numbers in the report to show that for rural and remote areas moving beyond diesel to think about micro-hydro, or solar or bio-mass. Will lower costs but also it will result in a power system that because it has got lower maintenance and simpler supply chain requirements will be much better matched to the operating conditions in those remote areas.
KH: And what else did you find in the report?
GM: So there are a number of main findings in the report. One is to embrace the alternatives to diesel for remote and rural sectors, sector needs. And the second is to think very carefully about when off-grid or on-grid solutions are the best match for power supply problems. There is a couple of other important reforms too about how the power sector should evolve. One is to think very carefully about the role very large generation projects play and whether it is better to focus on large generation assets or to maybe use a more pragmatic combination of smaller generation projects in PNG's context. And the other finding was really about making sure that resource sector projects which are again would be very important to Papua New Guinea's economic growth are integrated to the best possible way with the power network. And that sort of integration makes the power network lower cost and more efficient and also benefits the resource projects itself. We also think about what sorts of structural changes would be needed to help everybody in the power sector contribute in the best way possible.
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