The march towards a renewable future in the Pacific

Renewable energy is making a big splash in the Pacific, and MPower is pleased to be helping our island neighbours achieve their goals.


Given their comparatively small size and access to consistent tropical sunlight, island nations in the Pacific are ideal locations to lead the world in the push for more renewable energy. With support – financially and otherwise – from larger countries in the region including New Zealand and Australia, a number of Pacific governments are driving the initiative forward.


MPower has been intimately involved in a number of these new renewable projects, and it’s impressive just how quickly the transition is happening. Let’s take a look at some of the great work being done across the Pacific.


The quest for 100 per cent renewables in the Cook Islands
On the 15 small islands that make up the Cook Islands, traditional diesel electricity generation is giving way to solar PV and battery storage to ensure greater energy security, self-sufficiency and sustainability. According to Renewable Energy World, the nation’s government aims to be 100 per cent dependent on renewable energy by 2020.


“We have no difficulty upscaling to renewables,” said Prime Minister Henry Puna in 2016, according to Renewable Energy World. “Our problem is technological. The grid cannot accommodate all the renewables that are ready.”


A timely injection of funding from the Asian Development Bank, European Union and Global Environmental Fund is helping the Cook Islands make the transition to renewable energy however, with contributions of more than $18 million earmarked for new projects. A 5.6 MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) designed and delivered by MPower is a key part of that 100 per cent renewable goal.


Samoa’s 100 per cent renewable target
In Samoa, a much more populous nation than the Cook Islands, there are greater challenges facing the 100 per cent renewable energy target, but the government nonetheless is committed to the goal by 2025.


“All our plans and work from now on, is mainly towards achieving [100 per cent renewable energy],” says Aggie Wulf, a Senior Renewable Energy Officer with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, speaking to the Samoa Observer.


“Our mission is to work together in close partnerships with communities and stakeholders for the pursuit of sustainable development.”


MPower is once again involved in Samoa, with the construction of a 5MW solar power station across two sites. We’re committed to improving the energy systems of our Pacific neighbours, with large-scale renewable energy and battery storage projects a core part of our business. Contact us now for more information on our expertise and experience.


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