Promoting renewable energy in Papua New Guinea

July 14, 2020

Participants from key stakeholders at the first day training in Hotel Phoenix, Goroka. UNDP/K. Allen

Goroka, 14 July 2020 - Papua New Guinea has set an aspiration to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050.  To achieve this, it must encourage community participation in off-grid and energy efficient solutions.

Efforts to invest in renewable energy will improve community livelihoods while offering the country an alternative to yesterday’s fossil fuel technologies. With only approx. 15 per cent of the population having access to reliable electricity and more than 70 per cent of people living in rural areas, the majority of Papua New Guineans have limited or no access to energy.

This week, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA) and the University of Papua New Guinea’s Centre of Renewable Energy will demonstrate the use of such technologies through a series of workshops in Eastern Highlands Province. The workshops will among other topics, present guidance on proposal writing, drafting policies, planning and overseeing the implementation of renewable energy projects.

The workshops bring together Provincial and District officials, community representatives, non-government organizations and private sector stakeholders to discuss investment plans and opportunities for communities to access renewable energy options.  These discussions also mark the commencement of preparations for two mini-hydropower projects scheduled for Miruma village, Daulo District and Gotomi village, Lufa District.

The workshops in Eastern Highlands Province are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

  • The Hotel Phoenix, Goroka (13 – 14 July 2020)
  • Namta Primary School, Daulo (15 July 2020)
  • Gotomi Primary School, Lufa District (16 July 2020)

This initiative comes under the UNDP’s Facilitating Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Applications for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction (FREAGER) project, which is demonstrating the use of community mini-grids using hydro and solar resources for electricity generation to improve livelihoods in rural areas.   

Dirk Wagener, UNDP Resident Representative in reiterating UNDP’s support said, “Papua New Guinea has huge potential in renewable energy, and we need to invest through creative and innovative approaches. This initiative will support rural communities access to cheap, clean and sustainable sources of renewable energy including solar and hydro.” Mr Wagener added.

The training in Eastern Highlands Province is supported by the Provincial Government, Daulo and Lufa District Development Authorities, the national Government, UNDP and the Global Environment Facility.

Gretel Oraka, Project Manager for UNDP’s ‘Facilitating Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Applications for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction (FREAGER)’ project.

Workshop participants visiting the Centre for Appropriate Technology Projects in Goroka, Western Highlands Province. UNDP/K. Allen

Steve Layton, Co-Director of Centre for Appropriate Technology Projects (ATP) explaining how the hydro turbine generate power for the ATP centre. UNDP/K. Allen