Specialist power and water consulting firm Entura has been engaged by the Asian Development Bank to undertake feasibility assessments and due diligence on renewable energy projects to help Tonga and the Federated States of Micronesia achieve their renewable energy targets.
Tonga comprises more than 170 South Pacific islands, many uninhabited, while The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) boasts more than 600 islands spread across the western Pacific Ocean.
Like many island nations in the Pacific, Tonga and the FSM are facing the challenges of climate change, which presents enormous and urgent threats.
Renewable energy developments will contribute to the countries’ environmental targets and climate resilience.
The government of Tonga has set a 50% renewable energy target by 2020 and has identified 11 projects to achieve this.
FSM’s state utilities have identified a set of investments that will contribute towards achieving the aim of 30% annual average renewable energy penetration by 2020 and 50% by 2030, and assist in meeting FSM’s Paris Accord commitment of reducing emissions by 28% by 2025 (from year 2000 levels).
In the first phase of the work, which is already underway, Entura will undertake technical, financial and economic feasibility assessments and due diligence on each of the renewable energy investment projects.
“The FSM is the first Pacific country to submit a country program to the Green Climate Fund and is now set to start developing its nationwide priority projects.
These feasibility studies will support both Tonga’s and FSM’s applications to the Green Climate Fund for project finance,” said Entura’s team leader and senior project manager, Dean Haley.
“In the next phase, Entura will support the utilities with project design and procurement support to ensure that the projects can move ahead with confidence.”
As well as helping Tonga and FSM meet their environmental targets, the renewable energy projects will also contribute to climate change adaptation programs for areas already witnessing rising sea levels and associated issues such as erosion of roads and sea walls, increased salinity, and damage to buildings.
New renewable energy developments will also expand the island populations’ access to modern, reliable energy services, enable greater energy security and reduce reliance on costly, emissions-intensive diesel fuel.
Over the years, Entura has successfully delivered a range of renewable energy solutions across the Pacific including remote island projects in the Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Samoa.
The firm has developed a world-leading approach to off-grid and fringe-of-grid megawatt-scale development through its experience with hybrid renewables projects.