The updated Vanuatu National Energy Road Map (NERM): 2016-2030 was formally launched by the Minister of Climate Change, Ham Lini, yesterday afternoon at the Meteo Complex in No. 2, Port Vila

, in the presence of Government officials and representatives from the development partners and energy stakeholders.

The endorsement of Vanuatu’s first Energy Road Map in 2013, was a landmark occasion in the development of Vanuatu’s energy sector.

The Road map has an overall vision; “to energize Vanuatu’s growth and development through the provision of secure, affordable, widely accessible, high quality, clean energy services for an educated, healthy, and wealthy Vanuatu”.

The document also outlines the energy related targets for the country to be achieved in the period, 2013 to 2020.

Since the launch of the NERM, Vanuatu’s economy and energy sector have continued to develop.

External events, such as Cyclone Pam in early-2015, have also shaped how energy sector policies and priorities conceived.

The NERM 2016-2030 has the same vision as the 2013 version, however, it also reflects Vanuatu’s vision for sustainable energy and sustainable development. This updated NERM expands on the potential role of renewable energy and energy efficiency, by introducing new energy efficiency targets as well as introducing a new priority area: green growth, which helps link Vanuatu’s economic growth with opportunities in the energy sector.

“Let me reiterate that energy is one of the key priority sectors of the Government, because of its role as a catalyst for growth and the Game Changer for Vanuatu,” said the Minister of Climate Change at the launching ceremony.

The update of the NERM was completed with funding and technical support from the World Bank and Global Green Growth Institute, an international multilateral organisation with its headquarter based in Seoul, South Korea.

“The Ministry is also currently reviewing various legislation under the energy sector which will go to the Parliament for approval in the near future. These reviews are necessary to enhance the role of Government to ensure provision of secure, affordable, widely accessible, high quality, clean energy services.

“I am pleased to announce that since launching of the NERM, the Government through the Department of Energy has implemented a number of projects in the country, such as the Phase 1 of the Vanuatu Rural Electrification program; the United Arab Emirates-funded solar photovoltaic project, bio-fuel projects in Saratamata, in Ambae and Sola in Vanuatu Lava which will be launched later this month; Talise hydro on Maewo.

“There has also been extension of electricity grids in concession areas of Port Vila, Luganville, Tanna and Malekula by the two currently operating electricity companies, Uneclo and Vui.

“In the short to medium term, the Government is looking at various investments in energy sector to boost the electricity access rate. These include installation of mini and micro grid systems in selected rural sites around the country under Phase 2 of VREP and a Green Climate Fund proposal, both currently valued over USD40 million, with the implementation in next couple of years. In addition, the Government is also eying the development of an hydro project development in Brenwe, Malekula and extension of power grid on the eastern corridor of Santo under a financing facility from the Asian Development Bank. I also would like to inform everyone that the retender of Luganville electricity concession is progressing with the invitation to tender notice to be issued in November this year to potential bidders.

“With this, we hope to announce a concessionaire for the Luganville electricity concession around the first quarter of 2017.

“These are indications of Government’s commitment to achieve the stated energy target of 100% access for all citizens by 2030, and 65% renewable energy target by 2020.

“With this, I acknowledge the immense financial and technical support from our development partners and traditional donors such Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

“Also, as part of the current NERM update, I am also pleased to announce that the Council of Ministers has approved in April, 2016 a recommendation to establish the National Green Energy Fund which will have the mandate to assist the Government to fund energy access and energy efficiency projects in rural areas of Vanuatu.

“The work into operationalizing the Fund is currently progressing with technical support from the Global Green Growth Institute, with an aim of making it functional around end of 2017 or early 2018.

“Finally, I would like to reiterate the Government’s commitment to achieving the NERM’s targets and therefore seek continued support from all energy stakeholders including our development partners and the private sector,” Climate Change Minister Ham Lini, announced as he officially launched the Updated National Energy Road Map.

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