STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Only one in five Pacific homes have electricity: World Bank

The World Bank Group and International Finance Corporation have been involved in several energy projects in the region.

Published: 04th August 2016 08:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th August 2016 08:22 AM   |  A+A-

By AFP

TONGA: Only 20 percent of Pacific Island households have access to electricity -- and the cost is among the highest in the world, according to a senior World Bank official.

Kamleshwar Khelawan, an energy specialist at the World Bank, said the energy-poor region required joint government-private sector investment to develop new sources of power.

"The Pacific countries lack, or have limited, indigenous energy resources while the high cost of imported fossil fuels means that Pacific Islands require an increased focus on alternative sources of energy," Khelawan said Wednesday at the Pacific Power Association Conference in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.

However, while significant investment was needed, the Pacific Islands' regulatory environment did not favour private sector participation in energy development, he said.

He added "weak or dated" laws in Pacific Islands countries and arrangements that were "often ambiguous in terms of roles and responsibilities" also deterred private sector investment.

"About seven million of the nine million people in Pacific Island countries do not have access to electricity," Khelawan said.

"Only about 20 percent of households (in the region) have access to electricity."

The average figure was skewed by very low rates in Papua New Guinea (15 percent), Solomon Islands (20 percent), and Vanuatu (30 percent), which account for the bulk of the region’s population.

Khelawan noted there was hydropower potential in the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Samoa and Papua New Guinea and geothermal possibilities in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Fiji. Solar and wind were the main renewable energy options.

"Governments alone cannot fund the significant investment needed. A combination of government, private sector and development partners’ efforts are required," he said.

The World Bank Group and International Finance Corporation have been involved in several energy projects in the region.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp