TONGA SETS AMBITIOUS RENEWABLE ENERGY GOAL

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Government wants to reduce reliance on imported fuel

NUKU΄ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Nov. 16, 2009) - THE Tonga government has set a target to supply 50percent of Tonga's electricity generation from renewable sources within three years, according to an interim report presented to a Tonga Energy Roadmap Meeting in Vava'u this week.

At the moment Tonga relies almost 100 percent on diesel generation for electricity.

HRH Princess Salote Mafile'o Pilolevu Tuita officially opened the Development Partners Tonga Energy Roadmap Meeting at the Puataukanave Hotel, Neiafu, Vava'u, on November 16, and wished the delegation a fruitful deliberation in their effort to draft a Renewable Energy Roadmap for Tonga.

The Chairman of the meeting, Tonga's Prime Minister, Dr Feleti Sevele, thanked the foreign delegations for attending Tonga's first ever meeting to debate an Interim Technical Report on a Renewable Energy Roadmap for Tonga.

Dr Sevele hoped that the outcome of the two-days meeting would provide something concrete to build on for the final roadmap to be published in 2010.

The draft Interim Technical Report for the Government of Tonga Energy Roadmap was presented by Wendy Hughes, who outlined the objectives of the Interim Technical Report :

The report also highlighted the fact that almost 100 percent of the electricity generation in Tonga is fueled by imported diesel, and this reliance on imported fuel leaves Tonga vulnerable to the fluctuation of fuel price.

Tonga's goals with its proposed Renewable Energy Road-map are to reduce the vulnerability of the country to future oil price shocks; and to reduce the cost of electricity supply, while meeting the objectives of increasing access to quality electricity supply in an environmentally sustainable manner. The Tongan government has set a target of 50 percent of electricity generation from renewable sources within three years.

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