Virtual Island Summit

Virtual Island Summit (VIS) 2021 session on “Renewable Microgrids: An Economic, Reliable and Sustainable Energy Transition for Islands.”

7 September 2021, Suva Fiji: The PIDF Secretary General H.E Ambassador Solo Mara delivered the opening keynote at the Virtual Island Summit (VIS) 2021 session on “Renewable Microgrids: An Economic, Reliable and Sustainable Energy Transition for Islands.” On the same note, Ambassador Mara conveyed his sincere appreciation to the able leadership of Island Innovation for organizing this important event, aimed at sharing knowledge for resilient, sustainable and prosperous Islands worldwide.
Ambassador Mara emphasized that Pacific Leaders have made the transition to renewable energy a development priority for the region. And on the PIDF platform, this is part of our much bigger agenda of transitioning our member states into blue and green economies.
The four main challenges he highlighted that often hinder the implementation and progress of sustainable development in SIDS were geographic isolation, economic, social, and environment vulnerability.
“As a ‘way-forward,’ solar energy is a modular technology that can be deployed on- and off-grid and its Small stand-alone systems offer the potential to pre-empt a shift from privatisation and centralisation (associated with fossil fuels energy production) to decentralised and community-owned assets,” Ambassador Mara said.
“Many PSIDS also adopt off-grid solar energy solutions (such as standalone Solar Home Systems and mini/micro-grids) to mitigate the difficulty of extending their electricity grids to hundreds of scattered islands.”
“At the PIDF we are supporting this effort by promoting a multi-stakeholder and an all of society participatory approach to the development of Renewable Energy in our member states. Currently we are rolling out the Solarisation of Head of States of Pacific Leader’s Residences where each system installed becomes a demonstration project of this multi-stakeholder approach involving the private sector and civil societies, to inspire the mass adoption of solar energy and other renewable energy technologies in member countries.”
“Another such initiative is the Capacity Building to Strengthen Sustainable Implementation of Renewable Energy Technologies for Rural Energy Access Initiative. The goal of this project is to contribute to increased energy access and reduction of carbon emissions through sustainable use of natural resources and renewable energy technologies in rural areas of Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea,” he said.
In concluding his keynote address, Ambassador Mara emphasized that despite the many challenges to building sustainable renewable energy in Island communities, we in the Pacific are working with a wide range of partners to take advantage of the availability of small grid solar and hydro units that can provide stand-alone sources of electricity to rural and isolated island communities.
“It is especially important now in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the green recovery that is being planned to mitigate its effect on education, health and other social services in our island communities.”
The VIS 2021 is the premier event promoting sustainability and prosperity on islands around the world, taking place from 6 – 12 September. Organized by Island Innovation, the event builds connections that lead to the successful implementation of creative solutions to common challenges faced by islanders. The Summit will address all 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as well as other topics relevant to island communities. Speakers include industry experts, academics, policymakers, and community leaders representing a wide range of viewpoints. Topics explored include conservation, renewable energy, Blue Economy, climate change, sustainable agriculture, and food security. The summit will emphasize the need for input and partnerships from the private, public, academic, and NGO sectors.
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