The Pacific Islands have played a central role in increasing the ambition of the global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with Fiji being the first state to sign up to the Paris agreement. However, most carbon mitigation efforts in the Pacific have concentrated on reducing fossil use in electricity generation. The transportation sector, which consumes most of the fossil fuel in the region, is playing a catch-up game.
“The region is currently 100% dependent on fossil fuel for transportation, its renewable energy ambitions are so high, and the average daily driving range is less than 100 km, making it a fertile ground for the electrification of the transportation system (e-mobility),’’ said Solomone Fifita, Manager of the Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.
In 2021, the PCREEE rolled out its Business Plan 2021- 2030 which includes Sustainable Energy Business Mentoring and Support as well as a Sustainable Mobility readiness programme. The PCREEE believes the private sector is best placed to deploy sustainable transport initiatives in the Pacific Islands, designing approaches that will meet local needs.
E-mobility is new to the Pacific and Fiji: despite official support for the deployment of charging infrastructure in the form of subsidies, the regulatory environment presents several challenges to investing in charging infrastructure. The principal challenge that E-mobility must address is compliance with the legislations and regulations of the power utility, many of which were put in place decades ago, before the advent of distributed renewable electricity generation or electric mobility.
Leaf Capital Pte Ltd was established in Fiji in 2021 with the goal of establishing the Pacific’s first national EV charging network, starting in Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu. At the heart of the company’s vision is the ambition to developing an EV charging ecosystem that is sustainable, generating more renewable power than it uses, while also contributing to the wider goals of emission reduction and energy security by using smart charging technologies.