Pacific Community opens regional centre of excellence for renewable energy and energy efficiency

Pacific Community opens regional centre of excellence for renewable energy and energy efficiency

NUKU’ALOFA, 26 April 2017 – The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has this week opened the first Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency office in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.  

“Tonga is privileged to host the Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) on behalf of the Pacific,” said Siaosi Sovaleni, Tonga’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC) at the opening. “The Centre will provide valuable support to Pacific Island countries and territories towards advancing their respective priorities and commitments for achieving sustainable energy.”

PCREEE has been established with support from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) DOCK sustainable energy initiative, and the Government of Austria. The Centre is part of a wider partnership for the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway, which aims to establish a network of regional sustainable energy centres for SIDS in Africa, Caribbean, Pacific and Indian Ocean.

The partnership contributes to the SDGs – particularly SDG 7, SDG9 and SDG13 – and to the Regional Framework for Action on Energy Security in the Pacific.

“The PCREEE will act as innovative hub that brings together technical expertise and knowledge from around the world on matters related to sustainable energy project implementation,” said SPC’s Pacific Community Director General, Colin Tukuitonga. “It will also promote domestic energy entrepreneurship and will act as a business incubator for innovative energy start-ups and business models with high potential for local value creation.”

Stein Hansen, Representative and Director of UNIDO’s Regional Office in Thailand, thanked the Government of Tonga for its leadership and stressed that "the network of regional centers represents an excellent way of promoting SIDS-SIDS cooperation on mutual energy-related issues.” Hansen continued, “The success of key economic sectors, such as fishery, agro-business, manufacturing and tourism, highly depends on improved access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy and transport services.”

According to Martin Ledolter, Managing Director of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), “the centre will contribute to accelerating the shift from the region’s dependency on fossil fuel to renewable energy and energy efficiency.”

Also in attendance at the opening was Enele Sopoaga, Prime Minister of Tuvalu and President of the SIDS DOCK Assembly, who congratulated all partners for the durable partnership. 

PCREEE will provide a host of support services including the development of registries for data, products and training. The Centre will also support the Pacific Energy Regulators Alliance – a network of regulators setting rules for private sector investments. Further, it will focus on the nexus between energy and gender equality with a view to bridging the gap in the region.

Tonga was selected as the host country for PCREEE as a result of a consultative process, and in recognition of its interest and support in promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The opening of PCREEE coincides with the SPC’s 70th Anniversary, as well as the Third Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers’ Meeting from 26-28 April in Nuku’alofa.

 

For more information, please contact:

Martin Lugmayr

Sustainable Energy Expert

UNIDO Climate Policy and Networks Division

Email

 

Inga Mangisi-Mafileo,

Acting Director of Communications and Public Information

SPC

Email

+676 883 4954

 

Follow the event on Twitter via #PRETMM.