Pacific Energy Summit Opens In Auckland

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Island nations seek funding for renewable energy projects

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 24, 2013) – The New Zealand Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, says he expects several hundred million dollars will be offered by aid donors at this week’s Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland.

Pacific countries, donors and developers are being brought together in an attempt to get the region producing up to half its energy needs from renewable sources within three years.

Mr McCully says the summit, jointly hosted by the European Union, grew out of the Pacific Islands Forum summit held in New Zealand in 2011.

He anticipates major commitments from donors and says the dollars justify themselves.

"Across the region about 10 percent of the GDP of the Pacific nations goes in purchasing diesel for the purpose of generating electricity. Around 25 percent of the import bills of the Pacific countries, on average, is the importation of diesel for electricity generation. That is the economic cost - add to it the fact that many countries then subsidise electricity."

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