Wednesday, February 13, 2019. Tonga’s aim to reach 50% of renewable energy by 2020 is on track, said Tonga Power Ltd CEO, Seti Chen.
The 50% target relates to Tonga’s electricity production only, with the aim to transition the country from imported diesel fuel to environmentally friendly and renewable sources of energy under the Tonga Energy Road Map (TERM) 2010-2020. In addition, residents will enjoy some reduction in their electricity bills once the target is met.
Seti said that the amount of diesel used to produce electricity in Tonga is on average just over 1.2 million litres per month or 14.4 million litres per annum. When the 50% target is reached at the end of 2020, this amount is expected to drop to around 7.2 million litres of diesel per annum.
Currently, Tonga produces around 11% of renewable energy annually including the outer islands.
Ongoing and upcoming projects and the larger Tonga Renewable Energy Project (TREP), which received funding from the Green Climate Fund last October, will boost renewable productivity to 50% by the end of 2020.
Three solar plants will be installed on the western (Hihifo) side of Tongatapu. On the eastern side of the island, three wind sites will be installed with one funded by Japan and one by China, and two battery energy storage systems will be installed at existing renewable energy sites close to Nuku’alofa.
The whole of Tonga is projected to consume around 66 gigawatt hours by 2020. Tongatapu alone is projected to consume just over 54 gigawatt hours. But the good news is that Tonga may achieve more than targeted.
In order to reach the 2020 target, private sector investment is being sought to help complete the projects and already there are a number of companies interested.
“The companies that actually are bidding to this are international. There are a lot from Australia, New Zealand, and China. There is a lot of interest in it,” said Seti.
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Source: Matangi Tonga Online