Participants of Masdar Pacific Utility workshop, funded by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – Pacific Partnership Fund (PPF) got underway at USP’s Laucala Campus on 24 October, 2017.
A Pacific Training Programe funded by the United Arab Emirates Pacific Partnership Fund (UAEPPF) was held at The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Laucala Campus on 24 October, 2017.
The UAE-PPF is a USD50 million initiative, delivering grant-funded renewable energy (RE) projects to eleven (11) Pacific Island nations including three solar mini grids in Fiji.
In welcoming participants, Dr Atul Raturi, USP Partner and Facilitator, stated that sustainable development of the Pacific communities is the overarching theme for everything that USP does.
Participants take a look at the USP-KOICA 45 Kilowatts Grid Connected Photovoltaic (GCPV) System at USP's Marine Campus.
“With 12 member countries, 14 campuses and 29,000 students spread over 30 million square kilometres, USP shoulders a great responsibility for providing quality education and carrying out relevant research for the benefit of the Pacific region,” he said.
He further said “this training workshop on renewable mini-grids supports our core mission and we are very pleased to collaborate with the UAE PPF, ITP Renewables and Elemental Power and Renewables”.
Mr Olabode Esan, Head of Business Development, Special Projects Unit, Masdar said UAE is firmly committed to the adoption of renewable energy as a means for transforming economies and ensuring sustainable development.
He noted that through Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Government is seeking to advance the development and adoption of commercially viable solutions in renewable energy, not only in the UAE, but worldwide.
“Through the UAE-PPF and all 11 projects delivered across the South Pacific, we have demonstrated the innovative nature of renewable energy – together we implemented a wide variety of projects ranging from small solar PV rooftop systems to solar PV carparks and small utility scale plants, small wind farm and solar powered water treatment plants,” he noted.
Renewable energy he said, is increasingly becoming a key energy source not only for islands, such as those you represent, but also for metropolitan areas in topical and desert environments alike.
“Not too far from here, the Fiji outer islands of Lakeba, Kadavu and Rotuma now enjoy 24-hour electricity supply, following the provision of grid connected solar PV plants to supplement existing power sources,” he said.
According to Mr Esan, the objective of the training is to build on what has already been done, learn from experiences gained and provide participants with more knowledge that will enable them to deploy and exploit renewable energy sources available within their environments.
Mr. Andrew Revfeim, Director and Principal Advisor of Elemental Power and Renewable said “the interaction and knowledge sharing between participants in this training programme will be one of the major benefits gained, contributing to the success and effectiveness of future renewable energy [projects in the Pacific”.
In his keynote address Dr Raturi talked about how renewable energy can help PICs tackle the energy trilemma - energy access, energy security and climate change mitigation"
USP facilitated the three-day workshop and it is being coordinated by New Zealand’s Elemental Power and Renewables and supported by Australia’s ITP Renewable.
A total of 30 participants including regional utilities staff, trainers from Elemental and ITP and representative from Masdar and USP are taking part in this workshop.
The fund’s 11 projects were deployed by Masdar’s Special Projects unit in cooperation with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and each nation’s government, with funding provided by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD).
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