Tonga to move towards renewables with USD 45m in financial support

A single wind turbine in Nakolo, Tonga. Author: Vilimaka Foliaki. License: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

March 12 (Renewables Now) - The Polynesian country of Tonga will benefit from grants of nearly USD 45 million (EUR 39.9m) in total that should help it move away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said today it has cleared a USD-12.2-million grant for this project and will also administer grants worth USD 29.9 million from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and USD 2.5 million from the government of Australia.

The funds will go towards several sub-projects in the country, including the installation of an energy storage system in Tongatapu; the development of grid-connected renewable energy plants on the outer islands of ‘Eua and Vava’u; the creation of renewable-based hybrid systems and mini-grids on the outer islands of O’ua, Tungua, Kotu, Mo’unga’one and Niuafo’ou; as well as the establishment of local capacity to operate and maintain assets.

“The project will reduce the country’s dependency on imported fossil fuel for power generation,” said Olly Norojono, the energy division director of ADB’s Pacific Department. Tonga seeks to achieve a 50% renewable energy target by 2020 and reach 70% by 2030.

The project is being implemented under the USD-750-million Pacific Renewable Energy Investment Facility, which finances developments in the 11 smallest Pacific island developing member countries. The ADB approved the facility in 2017 and is providing up to USD 200 million.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.887)

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