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Published on : Jun 26, 2017

In a bid to encourage the development of the renewable energy sector in Pacific island countries, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to create a new financial investment facility, named the Pacific Renewable Energy Investment Facility. The facility will grant financial funding to support a number of renewable energy projects and reformative projects across Pacific island countries.

The countries to be supported by the facility include the Republic of Marshall Islands, the Cook Islands, the Solomon Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Kiribati, Palau, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Tonga, and Samoa.

Development Hindered due to Several Issues

Developmental factors such as limited resources, small populations, vulnerability to natural disasters, and remoteness make the transition from diesel-powered power systems to renewable energy generation. The facility will work towards the establishment of renewable energy projects such as wind power, solar power, grid rehabilitation, and hydropower.

The facility will receive a collective financing of nearly $200 mn from the ADB. The facility is expected to support projects in the Cook Islands, Vanuatu, and Tonga first. Besides, the facility is projected to also provide support to regional plans for the reform of energy sector in these countries, and capacity building.

ADB’s principal energy specialist of the Pacific Department, Anthony Maxwell has said that the bank is rapidly expanding its financing for the renewable energy sector in the Pacific and already boasts funding to 13 renewable energy projects in 9 of the several small Pacific economies over the next 3 years. This is the first time that ADB has provided such as facility to the Pacific countries.