Commissioning of the Solar Energy Installation in Bau Island, Fiji

May 22, 2023

Turaga na Vunivalu na Tui Kaba, Ratu Epenisa Cakobau,

His Excellency, the High Commissioner of India to Fiji, Shri Karthigeyan,

Distinguished dignitaries and guests

Ladies and gentlemen,

Bula vinaka to you all.

I would first like to congratulate Ratu Epenisa Cakobau, on your installation as the Turaga na Vunivalu na Tui Kaba. Sir, it is a great honour and privilege to visit your chiefly island.

It is a pleasure and honour to join you this morning at this historic event to commission the solar energy installation in the Chiefly Island of Bau. This initiative is part of the larger Solar Heads of State Project which aims to facilitate the installation of solar energy infrastructure to power the residences of Heads of State or buildings of national importance in 11 of the member countries of the Pacific Island Development Forum (PIDF).

The installation of the solar energy infrastructure in this Chiefly Island is the second site for the project in Fiji, following the installation at the Fiji State House which was inaugurated in February 2023. This is in recognition of the important historical significance of this Chiefly village to the people of Fiji and its prominent status as being the home of the paramount Chief of the Kubuna Confederacy. This initiative is an important milestone towards creating awareness among different stakeholders as well as the general public on the adoption of solar energy as a source of clean, renewable energy. 

This will bring Fiji a step closer to achieving its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) target of reaching close to 100 percent renewable energy power generation (grid-connected) by 2030 and a reduction of 20 percent of CO2 emissions from the energy sector under a Business as Usual (BAU) scenario. It will also contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 on ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. In addition, we anticipate that the solar installation will be useful for the preparation of the Great Council of Chief Meeting, and thereafter for official function on the Chiefly Island of Bau.

Also, important to note is that this initiative would not have been possible without the generous financial support from the Government of India through the India – United Nations (UN) Development Partnership Fund. The UNDP Pacific office expresses gratitude for the support and for gracing this occasion. We acknowledge the great support of the Government of Fiji to enable the initiative to take place and the continuous support to come for the post-installation maintenance of the system after the commissioning, to ensure sustainability.

We also acknowledge and appreciate the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) Project Management Unit (PMU) for their tireless efforts in managing the initiative and the day-to-day operations to make the installation successful and this commissioning event possible.

Lastly, I wish to confirm United Nations Development Programme, commitment to continuously working with the Government of Fiji and development partners to support the Government in its transition towards clean energy and reduction of CO2 emissions as a climate change mitigation measure.

I wish you the very best with the rest of the commissioning event.

Vinaka vakalevu, dhanyabaad and thank you very much!