Minister: Fiji’s Energy Costs Tripled From 2004 To 2008

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Minister: Fiji’s Energy Costs Tripled From 2004 To 2008 Natuva calls for public-private energy efficiency collaboration

By Repeka Nasiko

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 8, 2013) – Fiji's petroleum imports increased drastically from about FJ$400 million [US$224.4 million] in 2004 to about FJ$1.2 billion [US$673.2 million] in 2008.

This was revealed by Minister for Works and Transport Timoci Natuva while opening the Small Island Developing States Pacific Regional on Energy or SIDS DOCK meeting in Nadi earlier this week.

Mr. Natuva said this figure equated to a quarter of the country's total imports.

"The provision of energy supplies not only affects the economy at large but the very foundation of our existence," he said.

"Fiji, like any other country in the region, has a common characteristic of high dependency on carbon-based fuels.

"Fiji's petroleum imports had moved from around FJ$400 million in 2004 to a little over FJ$1.2 billion in 2008 and that equates to a quarter of our total imports.

"The alarming fact is that the cost of our energy consumption has tripled in that period of four years."

The minister also called for more private and public sector collaboration in the field of energy efficiency.

"Energy in recent times has been elevated as a basic human need and it is often said that it makes the world go round.

"We need to embark on public-private partnership to assist us in reaching our goals."

SIDS DOCK was funded by a US$14.5 million grant ($F25.81 million) from the Danish Government announced in 2010, under a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and The World Bank's energy sector management program during climate talks in Cancun, Mexico to help small islands transition to low carbon economies through development and deployment of renewable energy resources and promotion of greater energy efficiency and conservation.

The Japanese Government joined the SIDS DOCK partnership with a pledge of US$15 million (F$26.7 million) in 2011, during climate talks in Durban, South Africa.

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