Tonga Power Limited: 2012 Renewable Energy Target ‘Unrealistic’

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50 percent renewable energy goal more likely by 2015

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 3, 2012) – Tonga’s Government owned power company says the country is not going to meet its goal of getting 50 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by the end of this year.

The Government launched an Energy Roadmap in 2010 which set the target and aimed to reduce the country’s reliance on expensive imported diesel.

But Tonga Power Limited’s CEO, John Van Brink, says they will now try and reach the goal by 2015.

"It was pretty clear to me when I started here five months ago that the 2012 target was unrealistic. But it’s my goal to progress this and to get Tonga Power to step up and take some more initiatives. We’ll certainly get things going by the end of this year. The reduction to 50 percent it will probably take three years."

John Van Brink says the company will now look at starting more solar farms, some small wind farm projects and some bio-mass generation to meet the new target.

The statement comes as Tonga prepares to officially open a five-million U.S. dollar solar farm which will provide four percent of the country’s power needs.

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