South Tawara, Kiribati - Kiribati's private energy companies have established the Kiribati Trade Association, which will give its members a strong platform to speak with one voice to the government and decision-makers. This will offer support to the transition timeline for the newly established Kiribati Energy Act 2022 and the development of the energy regulations before it is put into effect.
The association was formed following a two-day training on sustainable energy business start-ups and entrepreneurship for the private sector hosted by the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) and the Kiribati Energy Planning Division, Ministry of Infrastructure of Sustainable Energy (MISE).
This training supports the Kiribati Energy Act which aims to modernize the legal and regulatory framework and institutional structure of the energy sector in Kiribati and includes regulating assessing and issuing licenses to both electrical contractors and solar installers to ensure professionalism and safety for electricity consumers.
The 30 private sector participants included licensed electrical contractors, instructors from Kiribati Institute Technology, Kiribati Green Energy Solutions (KGES), licensed solar installer contractors, and new energy regulators.
The session was opened by the Acting Deputy Secretary for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy (MISE), Mrs Agnes Nikora Naare who addressed Kiribati’s renewable energy goals in her statement. “Kiribati acknowledges the significance of energy transition and has the commitment to increase the use of renewable energy by 23% and 40% for South Tarawa and with 22% and 20% energy efficiency improvement for the outer islands. However, the Energy Act 2022 recognizes the significant role of private enterprises in the energy sector for sustainable development and transition to accomplish the Energy Acts vision to provide providing available, accessible, reliable, affordable, clean, and sustainable energy options for the enhancement of economic growth and improving the livelihoods of our people”.
Mr Solomone Fifita, Manager-PCREEE said, "The Kiribati Government has plans to reduce their Business as Usual - BAU GHG emissions, conditionally to 16.7% by 2025 and to 23.8% 2030. We need to prepare our youth to work as suppliers, installers, and maintenance contractors because these conditional and unconditional targets by 2025 and 2030 represent promising business opportunities for the private sector and the business community in Kiribati in the areas of solar, ocean thermal energy, transportation, and energy efficiency."
A workshop participant Ms Claude Reeree, the only female electrical contractor expressed her gratitude for having attended this training, “I really appreciate this wonderful chance. Learning about the new Energy Act 2022 and the energy regulator's role in policing our electrical contractors will help to safeguard the quality of the services provided and the security of electricity users. It's not a male job, and women can do it better. I also want to urge women to take advantage of this opportunity for employment and business start-up”.
About EPD and the PCREEE.
The new Energy Act 2022, will become the new Energy Regulator under the Ministry of MISE as stipulated by the Energy Act 2022 Part III section (2) (a) development of energy sector policy and performance of planning and management functions;
The PCREEE is a regional vehicle to accelerate the uptake of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies in the Pacific Islands and is co-hosted by the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Tonga Government at Nuku’alofa, Tonga. It is a collaboration between SPC, UNIDO, SIDS Dock, the Government of Tonga and the Governments of Austria and Norway.