Deal to aid Fiji’s renewable energy push

Fiji is a step closer to its goal of sourcing all its energy needs via renewable sources by 2030, thanks to an agreement signed between Energy Fiji Limited (EFL) and International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Hailed a landmark arrangement and the largest of its kind in the Pacific, the project is aimed at reducing the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels and, in doing so, reduce greenhouse emissions amidst the impacts of climate change.

“Worth around US$15 million…it has the potential to transition as many as 14,000 households to solar energy,” a release issued by EFL and IFC stated.

The agreement allows EFL to collaborate with its choice of private-sector partner in the project to deliver at least 15 megawatts of solar power to the national grid. IFC will also assist EFL in exploring potential renewable energy sources in Vanua Levu.

As it stands, around 45 per cent of the country’s power needs are supplied through fossil fuels, 50 per cent through hydropower and the remaining five per cent from biomass and wind. At least 90 per cent of Fijians are connected to EFL’s grid, which requires a total generation capacity of 267 MW daily.

The project is projected to reduce Fiji’s fuel import bill. In 2019, the country’s import bill stood at US$500million (FJD$1.17billion), comprising 20 per cent of the country’s total imports.

IFC has been supported by the governments of Australia and New Zealand through the Fiji Partnership and the Danish Government to carry out this solar project in Fiji.

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