On June 14, GGGI and the Government of Vanuatu (GoV) successfully concluded the kick-off Task Force meeting in Port Vila, Vanuatu to establish the National Green Energy Fund (NGEF). Just two weeks ago, on May 29, Vanuatu’s Council of Ministers had formally approved the NGEF’s design and overall structure and the establishment of a dedicated Task Force. This meeting marks a momentous first step towards full-fledged operationalization of the NGEF. The Fund – a joint initiative launched by GGGI and the GoV – is a National Financing Vehicle (NFV) aimed at accelerating financial flows to increase electricity access in off-grid areas, renewable energy and energy efficiency investments in furtherance of the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.
The NGEF Task Force is composed of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Climate Change, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. GGGI acts as the government advisor, providing support on fund design and technical aspects. The kick-off meeting started off with a discussion on the role, mandate and timeline of the NGEF Task Force followed by a presentation and approval of the NGEF Financial Assessment Report.
The meeting is an important milestone for both GGGI and the GoV. GGGI has been working closely with the GoV since 2015 which saw the establishment of a local GGGI office and the launch of its country program focusing on the energy sector. In 2015-2016 GGGI assisted in the review of the National Energy Road Map (NERM) focusing on integrating green growth and energy efficiency and identifying financing mechanisms for the NERM. This work led to a recommendation for an energy fund (the NGEF) that would consolidate various sources of finance and channel investment towards green energy projects. Mr. Jesse Benjamin, Director General, Ministry of Climate Change and Natural Disaster, said “We greatly appreciate GGGI’s continuous support in many ways and I’m now very excited to see that we’ll finally be able to launch the NGEF soon to help us achieve the 2030 goal of 100% electricity access to households and energy efficiency improvement”.
To this end, GGGI has together with the GoV engaged the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to accelerate the establishment of the NGEF. As an outcome of this engagement, in April 2017, the project received a much-needed boost with GCF’s approval of the NGEF Readiness Proposal, which will provide funding for preparatory activities such as a market assessment and pipeline project development.
With these solid foundations in place, it is expected that the NGEF will be fully operational by the mid-2018, ready to channel its first series of investments aimed at enhancing the energy access of its rural populace and charting the way for Vanuatu’s green growth.