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Fiji - 100% Renewable Electricity by 2030

Suva, capital and commercial centre of Fiji. Photo credit: Maksym Kozlenko, Creative Commons

An inter-island vessel sails past one of the islands in the east of Fiji. Photo credit: Jaejay77, Creative Commons

Sunergise has attracted investment from Australia, New Zealand, the US and China. Photo credit: abc.net.au

Solar PV on Fiji. Photo credit: sunergisegroup.com Fiji

100% Renewable Energy Goal:
100% renewable electricity by 2030, with electricity access for all

Location: Fiji

The island archipelago nation of Fiji, located in the South Pacific, is home to approximately 880,000 people, and in May 2012,  was one of seven islands in a group called the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to declare a commitment 100% renewable energy targets by Pacific Island Countries (PICs). Fiji specifically agreed to transition to 100% renewable electricity by 2030. Not all the islands have kept their commitment, but Fiji has, although it has since extended its target to 2035.

Following their setting a 100% renewable electricity target, with an interim goal of 80%  by 2020, and as part of the UN Sustainability for All initiative, the Fijian government put together a gap analysis that laid out the challenges and potential for meeting its 100% renewable goal. In addition to its 100% renewable electricity goal, Fiji lays out in this document a target of a 5.5% increase in energy efficiency by 2030 and 100% access to electricity by 2020. The gap analysis also states that by 2030, Fiji aims to get 25% of its total energy demand met with renewable sources.

Other key data in the gap analysis includes:

1. Situation Up to Point of Gap Analysis (approximately 2012)

  • Electricity access: From 2003-2007, the percentage of rural citizens with access to electricity rose from 69% to 82%, but this was less than the more than 96% in the more urban regions

  • Utility's achievement - or lack thereof - so far: The local state-owned electricity utility, Fiji Electric Authority (FEA) was found to unregulated and had failed to meet its goal of 90% renewable electricity by 2012, due to lack of financing. But by 2011, FEA had been able to achieve 60% renewable electricity.

2. Examples of gaps identified:

  • Power Development Plan

  • Regular review of the costs and resource availability for different generation technology options

  • Detailed grid asset management plan

  • Transparent Independent Power Producer framework for the competitive procurement of large-scale generation

  • Clearly defined framework for connecting small scale renewable energy technologies to the grid

  • Transfer of technical regulatory functions to an entity independent of the utility

3. Examples of proposed policies:

  • Maintain a comprehensive assessment of Fiji’s renewable energy resources, including an inventory of available sites and technologies, their technical and economic viability, and social and environmental impacts.

  • Make all data on renewable energy resources available to the public and prospective investors
  • Conduct further investigations into geothermal energy resources with a view to identifying a pilot project

  • Increase private sector investment in large-scale electricity generation by establishing a transparent process for procurement of new large-scale capacity

  • Increase private sector investment in small-scale grid-connected renewable generation, by establishing economically justi ed feed-in tariffs or similar mechanisms to give incentives and reduce the risks

  • Strengthen transparency and effectiveness of the regulation of the electricity industry.       


Recent developments

In the years since the gap analysis, developments have included:

  • November 2013: 100% renewable target and planning integrated into National Energy Policy plan

  • 2015: Readiness Assessment completed by government and IRENA

  • 2015-2016: Pre-feasibility study initiated Ovalau and Taveuni Islands

  • Risk sharing fund established through the World Bank’s Sustainable Energy Finance Project, which by 2016, had approved over 60 loans for renewable energy equipment for small enterprises, community organizations and individuals and trained five small enterprises and community organizations on equipment repair and maintenance, as well as general business skills.

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