President Surangel Whipps Jr. said that Palau is still a fossil fuel hostage with the island nation extremely dependent on imported petroleum.
Whipps said this during the International Symposium titled “Sustainable Blue Economies -Challenges and Future Perspectives for Palau,” hosted by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation on September 9.
“Palau intends also to do its part to tackle climate change. We are still dependent on fossil fuels. In fact, we are fossil fuel hostages, as we have seen in this past year because we import so much oil from overseas,” President Whipps said.
He said with the oil price soaring and impacting small economies, this is the opportune time to transition from fossil fuel to clean energy.
“Now that the oil price is spiking, which should spur our transition from fossil fuels, to renewable energy sources,” Whipps said.
The president said Palau is doing its part and its thanks to the Japanese government for support.
He said Palau has introduced solar panels in different locations in the country, but he describes it as still sporadic and not sufficient to achieve the 100% renewables we need,” the president noted.
He said Palau is also looking at electric vehicles as one suggested formula connecting solar panels with batteries to charge electric vehicles. Another idea he said it the use of electric motor boats.
The president stated Palau is also interested in exploring green hydrogen and looking into the wave and tidal power generation.”
We would like to further develop the partnership with Japanese organizations, companies, and experts to push the Palau policy goal of 100% renewable by 2032.
The government has proposed a target of achieving 100% of its electricity generation from renewable energy sources by 2050.
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency ( IRENA), Palau’s renewable energy generation is only 4.03 percent of the total share of its power sector. (Island Times)