This is an Environmental Impact Assessment report at Niutoua, Hahake District Area, with consideration of the Tonga Power Limited’s proposed wind farm. This is the eastern coast of Tongatapu Island, the capital island of the Kingdom of Tonga. The principal objective is to improve energy supply with an increasing use of renewable energy.
Tonga has been recgnised as a Small Island Developing States (SIDS); and SIDS are a grouping of 52 similar countries, 14 of these self governing states1 are located in the Pacific and are commonly referred to as Pacific SIDS (PSIDS). In effect, Tonga, like other Pacific island countries, is accorded a ‘special case’ stemming from global recognition in Rio 19922 of the unique characteristics, challenges and vulnerabilities of SIDS and their ability to achieve sustainable development. This special case is defined largely by its small size, extreme isolation, limited and narrow resource bases, geographic dispersion and isolation from markets, diseconomies of scale, capacity limitations, susceptibility to climate change and natural disasters and global crises.
The Tonga Energy Road Map (TERM) provides a detailed pathway towards a low carbon, cost-effective, technically sound, equitable transformation of the entire energy sector in the Kingdom of Tonga. The Government of Tonga launched the plan in 2010 to address the challenge of energy security combined with the substantial reduction of the Kingdom’s contribution to Green House Gas (GHG) emissions.
The Kingdom is highly dependent on imported fuel to meet its energy requirements. In effect, the total fuel import accounts for about twenty percent of the total import value in 20113. Tonga Power Limited is the sole electricity production and distribution SOE in Tonga. The grid-supplied electricity accounts for about 98% of electricity and it is based on diesel generation. In 2013, TPL used 12,941,465 litres of diesel for power generation The total cost of diesel to TPL in 2013 was around $US19, 500,000. Under the current electricity regulatory structure the cost of fuel is essentially passed through to electricity consumers. Electricity consumers are fully exposed to oil price rises and fluctuations.
TPL, within the framework of TERM 2010-2020, is proposing a wind farm in the Hahake District (Niutoua-Lavengatonga). The proposed wind farm to be established in Niutoua, will be another step forward in addressing the energy issues in Tonga.