Tonga’s landmark Energy Roadmap is a multipronged strategy to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels and make the shift toward renewable sources including solar, wind, tidal and non-conventional sources.

This week, the Asian Development Bank and Japan entered into an agreement to fund the preparation of the country’s Outer Island Renewable Energy Project, which will connect solar power to the country’s existing electricity network.

The project will assist the government’s efforts to reduce the country’s heavy reliance on expensive, imported fossil fuels for power generation. Tonga Power Limited will support project implementation by delivering electricity generated by solar power to customers within the project area, which includes the outer islands of Ha’apai, ‘Eua, and Niuas (the latter which was greatly affected by the Pacific tsunami that also devastated parts of Samoa).

The half a million dollar technical assistance grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, which will be administered by the Asian Development Bank, will fund screening and site selection for one solar plant on each island group. It will also help with economic, environmental, and legal feasibility studies and skills training.

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