The University of Fiji in partnership with the Pacific Islands Development Forum Secretariat, hosted a two day regional conference on Renewable Energy at the Sofitel Fiji Resort on Denarau Island. A key note address was delivered by the PIDF Secretary General François Martel who remarked that more than 70% of fossil fuel in the Pacific is used in the transport sector and this is a worrying note.
Chief Guest Deputy Secretary for Transport Lui Naisara, emphasized that Fiji is leading the way in the Pacific when it comes to renewable energy.
“There’s been an influx of hybrid vehicles on our roads and electric cars as well. These are just a few moves that the Government has taken – reduction in tax to bring in these vehicles. What we are also doing in Fiji is to hybrid some of our rural projects – that is to have solar coming in to compliment the generators that we currently have; with these two energy sources it gives rural communities 24/7 access to electricity.”
The conference aimed to provide an opportunity to raise issues, exchange information, share experiences and best practices in bringing together experts and other stakeholders from the Pacific Islands, for advancement and large scale deployment of renewable energy in the region.
The event was facilitated through the University of Fiji’s EU funded “Renewable Energy in Pacific Islands: Developing skills & Capacity (EPIC) project”. By focusing on renewable energy to contribute to improvement on the nation’s energy security and add to building resilience to climate change and natural hazards. Participants at this conference presented on their projects/research in RE and its possible relation to the field of climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Key stakeholders in energy, energy efficiency and renewable energy in Fiji and the Pacific participated, including Fiji Electricity Authority, Fiji Sugar Corporation, Water Authority of Fiji, government representatives from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, Ministry of Education, delegates of the European Union, local NGOs, commercial companies, fellow academics and our project partners from University of Alicante in Spain and University of Papua New Guinea.