The opening of the first Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) office was marked in Nuku’alofa on 26 April, during an event held at the Tanoa International Dateline Hotel, by the Pacific Community (SPC).
The office is located on the third floor of the building where MEIDECC (Ministry of Meteorology, Energy etc) is located in the Central Business District.
Prime Minister Hon ‘Akilisi Pohiva, Prime Minister of Cook Islands Henry Puna, Prime Minister of Tuvalu Enele Sopoaga and others also unveiled the new PCREEElogo and the baseline map which provides a snapshot of renewable energy and energy efficiency targets, including a number of energy indicators on the status of the progress from the countries. These include electrification levels, renewable electricity share in total generation, distribution losses, and energy intensity, among others.
Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni the Deputy Prime Minister said Tonga is privileged to host Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) on behalf of the Pacific.
“This centre of excellence will provide valuable support to Pacific Island countries and territories towards progressing their respective priorities and commitments for achieving sustainable energy.”
PCREEE now joins a larger partnership directed to implement the SAMOA Pathway, Sustainable Development Goals (particularly SDG 7 and SDG9), and the Regional Framework for Action on Energy Security in the Pacific and Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement (SDG 13).
Martin Ledolter, Managing Director of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) said the centre is an important contribution to accelerate the shift from fossil fuel dependency to renewable energy and energy efficiency.”
Pacific Community Director-General Dr Colin Tukuitonga said PCREEE serves this mission by acting as innovative hub that brings together technical expertise and knowledge from around the world on matters related to sustainable energy project implementation.
Every year, we import about $800 million to $1 billion USD worth of fuel. Most of this fuel is used in transportation and in power generation, he said.
PCREEE was set up in response to call by Pacific Ministers of Energy and Transport Ministers in 2014 to strengthen mechanisms to promote private sector involvement in the sustainable development of Pacific Island countries and territories.
The centre was set up supported by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), SIDS DOCK and the Government of Austria.