Palau eyes 20% green energy this year
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Palau has set an ambitious target of achieving 20 percent of its electricity generation from renewable energy sources this year as it works toward hitting the goal of 100 percent by 2032.
As a developing nation, Palau is focused on reducing reliance on imported oil, said President Surangel S. Whipps Jr., who led discussions during the Small Island Developing States Ministerial held last week during the 13th Session of the IRENA Assembly in Abu Dhabi.
"This gathering represents an opportunity for us, (small island developing states), to make substantive advancements and decisions on the way forward as we look forward to COP28," Whipps said.
"We, SIDS, stand at the forefront of climate change – effectively losing several orders of magnitudes of GDP at the advent of an event – negatively impacting socio-economic development," he added.
"The cost of technology to make the transition to renewable energy while addressing the economies of scale in SIDS is challenging, especially with the need for more access to financing and support," he said.
"That said, we are working on becoming energy independent. We have a goal of reaching 20 percent renewable energy by 2023. And by 2025, we will reach 45 percent on the road to our goal of 100 percent by 2032," Whipps said.
Palau’s first utility-scale solar and battery energy storage facility in Babeldaob is scheduled to be completed in April this year, according to the contractor Solar Pacific Pristine Power.
Australia has provided AU$31 million in financing for the construction of the solar project, which is expected to generate 20 percent of Palau’s energy needs.
The project is touted to play a key role in Palau’s efforts to meet its renewable energy targets by 2025 and be one of the largest hybrid facilities of its kind in the Pacific.
Whipps said as the world looks forward to COP 28 later this year, "it's important to continue shifting from discussion to actual implementation. In COP 27, held last year, there were steps taken to move forward, such as the creation of the funding stream to address 'loss and damage.'"
COP 28 will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates in Dubai later this year.