2020 Renewable Energy Transition For Cook Islands ‘Unlikely’

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Former energy committee head says complete switch impractical

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Jan. 31, 2013) – A former Cook Islands energy executive says the government is unlikely to meet its 2020 renewable energy target.

Former Chairman of the Cook Islands National Energy Committee, James Beer, said limited technical and financial resources would prevent the country from reaching its target of 100 percent renewable energy by 2020.

"If you look at the way we're trying to approach it... we're trying to integrate something new into something that is often called archaic," Mr. Beer told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat.

"It'll be quite expensive to do so and the cost has been bandied around at about NZ$200 million [US$166.7 million]."

Mr. Beer said it is vital to look at alternatives to relying on imported diesel to run generators, because diesel is subject to sudden price changes on the international market.

However, he said having solar panels, wind turbines and tide generators completely replace imported fuel is impractical at present.

Mr. Beer said he is part of a small village consortium that has created its own smart grid.

"We worked out how we could generate energy from rooftops and from available land and share it amongst a small community."

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