(03/12/2019, Vava’u) - The Government of Tonga in collaboration with the European Union (EU) and the Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) organized a review of the progress achieved in implementing Tonga’s Energy Roadmap (TERM) with key energy stakeholders in Vava’u from 3rd to 5th December 2019. Governor of Vava’u, Lord Fakatulolo officiated the meeting at its Opening Ceremony today, 3 rd December 2019 at the Puataukanave Hotel in Neiafu, Vava’u. He was joined by the Minister for Finance, Hon. Tevita Lavemaau in his capacity as National Authorization Officer for the EU in Tonga, and the Minister of MEIDECC, Hon. Poasi Tei, together with EU representative, Mr. Atesh Gosai and SPC representative and PCREEE Manager, Mr. Solomone Fifita and other energy stakeholders. The Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications has illustrated the efforts made by the government to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and simultaneously improve access to energy services to the people. This dual objective is pursued by ensuring an increased proportion of renewable energy generation in the energy mix of the country, in addition to improving overall efficiency of the sector. Tonga Power Limited (TPL) explained the challenge created by increased demand for power and highlighted how investments have also contributed to increase the efficiency of the power plants and to upgrade the power network. Several renewable energy projects have been finalized such as the wind farm and more are ongoing: mini-grid installations in outer islands and increase of battery storage capacity.
These investments will contribute to reaching the national objective of 50% sustainable electricity generation by the end of 2020. They have been accompanied by critical support to policy, institutional, legal, regulatory, capacity strengthening (energy bill, grid code, tariff, etc) notably thanks to the European Union. Once the target is met, residents will enjoy some reduction in their electricity bills. The Kingdom of Tonga reiterated its appreciation of the support provided by the development donors such as the European Union, Asian Development Bank, Austria, Norway, Japan, and New Zealand in implementing Tonga’s Energy Roadmap. The partners also discussed key measures for ensuring the sustainability of the achievements and accelerating progress on Tonga Energy and Climate Change Mitigation as well as opportunities for the private sector and civil society organizations. As the TERM is approaching the end of its period, its evaluation will be conducted and will inform the 2020- 2030 priorities to be developed under TERM Plus, the roadmap for the next 10 years period.