President Surangel Whipps Jr. reiterated Palau’s aim to reduce reliance on imported oil.
The president said this during the Small Island Developing States Ministerial held last week during the 13th Session of the IRENA Assembly in Abu Dhabi.
“This gathering represents an opportunity for us, (small island developing states), to make substantive advancements and decisions on the way forward as we look forward to COP28,” Whipps said.
“We, SIDS, stand at the forefront of climate change – effectively losing several orders of magnitudes of GDP at the advent of an event – negatively impacting socio-economic development,” he added.
Palau wants to achieve 20 percent of its electricity generation from renewable energy sources and 100 percent by 2032.
Last year Australia announced a USD22 million solar farm project plan in Palau. The announcement was made during former Australia Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s visit to the country.
The solar farm with battery storage will meet 20 percent of Palau’s energy need from renewable energy.
Earlier the Palau Public Utilities Corporation (PPUC) said it remained committed to achieving Palau’s target of 45% renewable as contemplated under the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) declared in 2015.
At nearly 94% of energy generation deriving from diesel, PPUC consumes approximately 6,000,000 US gallons of diesel per year. Despite the unanticipated challenges of COVID-19, PPUC continues to engage in efforts to reduce its dependency on fossil fuel and integrate more renewable energy.
Presently, PPUC and the ROP are on the verge of launching Palau’s first Independent Power Producer (IPP) focused on the Koror – Babeldaob grid to raise renewable energy generation levels from the current 6% to a minimum of 20%. This partnership between the PPUC and Solar Pacific Energy Corporation (SPEC) aims to construct a 13.2-Megawatt (MW) solar PV facility with a 10.2 MW energy storage system to generate a minimum of 20 Gigawatt hours (GWh) per annum for twenty (20) years with the possibility of an extension of an additional five (5) years. The project is now more than 50% complete with an anticipated completion date of April 2023.
During the IRENA meeting, President Whipps said it is looking forward to the COP28 hosting of Abu Dhabi later this year.
He thanked Abu Dhabi for its leadership in the energy transition.
Whipps highlighted the need for “everybody to work together” to achieve a cleaner energy goal.