In December 2018, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) signed a grant agreement with the Korea International Development Agency (KOICA) to implement a project titled “Capacity building to strengthen sustainable implementation of renewable energy technologies for rural energy access.” KOICA will provide USD 1.5 million to support the 3-year project to be implemented in Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea (PNG). GGGI will manage the project and lead implementation in Fiji, Vanuatu and PNG. The Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) is partnering with GGGI on the project and will lead implementation in the Solomon Islands.
The project aims to strengthen informed and inclusive decision-making by local government officials and community leaders, and to integrate green economy and renewable energy principles into local level planning. The project also aims to strengthen implementation of renewable energy infrastructure for rural electrification. To accomplish this, training sessions will be conducted in rural areas of all four countries for local government officials, traditional/community leaders, women and vulnerable groups, youth, and local technicians. Trainers will be centrally trained using a train-the-trainer approach and then will travel to rural areas to deliver the training. The training content will include general green economy principles, energy efficiency basics, green business basics, inclusive development, renewable energy general principles, operations and maintenance for solar and pico-hydro, and financial management for renewable energy projects. In the long term, the project is intended to increase sustainable energy access while reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the four countries.
GGGI’s Pacific Regional Representative Katerina Syngellakis commented “It is exciting to start work on this project with our partners KOICA and PIDF. This will build on GGGI’s previous work in the Pacific and help bring awareness and skills on renewable energy to the sub-national and community level. In these four countries, where the rural populations are quite dispersed, this kind of training is important for building support and momentum for green development at the grassroots level.”
Implementation of the project will begin in February, with a key first step being consultations with government representatives in each country, followed by a needs assessment. Project teams from GGGI and PIDF will undertake missions to each country during the first quarter of 2019 in order to plan the project in a way that is specifically tailored to each country’s needs.