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UK group invests in Niue's natural grid

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

Marcus Saul of Island Power and John Tiakia, Nieu's infrastructure minister, signed a memorandum of agreement on renewable energy transition on Jan, 12. Photo courtesy of PTI.

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Alofi, Niue-- The UK-based Island Power enterprise has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Niue, pledging an investment to help the South Pacific island achieve its energy efficiency goal by 2025.

Island Power, which specializes in facilitating energy independence through a rapid transition to renewable and resilient energy systems, will invest US$750,000 into Niue’s future energy systems through the development of an energy-efficient solution for a natural grid network installation.

“Working with the Niue government and communities, we aim to deliver long-term benefits including education and economic development associated with the Niue Natural Grid," Marcus Saul, managing partner at Island Power, said after the MOU signing in Alofi on Jan. 12.

Saul signed the MOU with John Tiakia, Nieu's acting minister for infrastructure.

Today Niue: Tomorrow the Pacific. There was a clear recognition at COP 27 that conventional climate finance has reached the end of the road. Here, facing the cliff edge of climate change, perhaps the Niue Natural Grid initiative may be a first step back along the road less traveled," Niue Premier Dalton Tagelagi said

Chris Cook, a leading climate finance expert at Island Power, said, the objectives of the Niue Natural Grid address all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals by Environmental, Social & Governance-compliant climate finance:

  • Environmental – cutting fuel costs also cuts CO2 emissions

  • Social – increasing capacity and addressing fuel poverty

  • Governance – Niueans own and operate the Niue Natural Grid.

According to PTI, Saul and Cook are research fellows at the Institute for Strategy, Resilience and Security at University College in London, who developed the Pacific Natural Grid resource resilience strategy.

The investment was facilitated by Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand

“Pacific Trade Invest NZ is committed to assisting Pacific island countries expand their export markets and benefiting from the inbound investment," said Glynis Miller, trade commissioner.

"Lending our resources and connections to help bring resilient investment solutions to address the impacts of climate change and disasters toward energy efficiency and reliability respond in part to the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, endorsed by Forum Leaders in 2022," Miller added.

Frank Sioneholo, head of trade and investment at the Treasury Department, said the initiative was developed "from extended consultations among the parties considering new modalities for renewable energy technology and potential investment opportunities aiming to achieve energy resilience and independence for Niue."

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