Tuvalu's Commitments in the Face of Climate Change Impacts

Mar 24, 2017

Prime Minister and Minister of Public Utilities and Infrastructure, Honorable Enele Sosene Sopoaga at the inauguration ceremony. Photo credit: Tuvalu/M.Lotolua/2017.

Tuvalu Electricity Corporation General Manager, Mafalu Lotolua, is a man on a mission to show the world that although Tuvalu’s emission is very negligible while the rising tides is threatening to take their homes, he wanted to lead the example and show the world that Tuvalu is doing its bit to further reduce Greenhouse gas emissions and to promote energy efficiency technology. Tuvalu is ready to commission their Energy Efficiency Demonstration Fale project. 

The “Energy Efficiency Demonstration Fale” project has been made possible through the Pacific Islands Greenhouse Gas Abatement through Renewable Energy Programme project implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Multi Country Office in Samoa, and executed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.

Pacific Islands Greenhouse Gas Abatement through Renewable Energy Programme (PIGGAREP) Plus is an extension of the PIGGAREP Regional project of USD 5 million that was funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) project. It is funded from the SIDS DOCK Support Programme, which is a joint initiative of the UNDP and the World Bank (WB), and in close consultation with the Alliance of the Small Island States (AOSIS) and funded by the Government of Denmark.

This initiative aims to support Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to transition to low carbon economies through development and deployment of renewable energy (RE) resources and promotion of greater energy efficiency (EE). 

The specific objective of this intervention is to facilitate the application of sustainable renewable energy (RE)-based power generation technologies in houses in Tuvalu. The use of RE technologies (RET) in houses is also supplemented in two ways with energy efficiency: (1) the application of energy efficiency technologies, in the form of energy efficient household appliances; and (2) the energy efficient design and operation of the RET systems that is installed in the Demo Fale. 

Tuvalu Electricity Corporation (TEC) aims to increase awareness and motivation in the application of energy efficient technologies and energy savings in the residential sector. Tuvalu is without a doubt one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to sea level rise and other effects of climate change. It is comprised of three reef islands and six atolls, with a population of 10,837. Although PICs have very minimal contribution to the increase in GHG, they are very committed to joining the global efforts in ensuring the reduction of GHG emissions. Tuvalu’s 10-year Master Plan sets a target to increase EE to 30% by 2025. Their recently approved EE ACT, Tuvalu will restrict the importation (5) non-efficient appliances- lightings, refrigerators, freezers, air-conditioning unit and washing machines.

This Demonstration Fale will be run by TEC and is located on the north-western part of the TEC property in Funafuti. The overall goal of the Fale is to showcase methods that utilise renewable energy which will lessen the energy demands and blend this with the traditional housing structure. Mafalu’s calculations show a cumulative energy savings from this demonstration to about 10%. The Demo fale is easily spotted when you arrive in Tuvalu, it is an open design with RE and EE technologies so that the Tuvalu community could witness the benefits of RE and EE technologies on households level. 

At the inauguration ceremony of the Demonstration Fale, Honourable Enele Sosene Sopoaga, Prime Minister and Minister of Public Utilities and Infrastructure, emphasized the importance of Action. 

“Tuvalu is truly grateful to all the donors for the support to ensure Tuvalu achieves its RE and EE goal nationally and globally”. 

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) Director of Climate Change, Dr. Netatua Pelesikoti, delivered the keynote speech on behalf of SPREP and UNDP MCO Samoa. 

“Both PIGGAREP and PIGGAREP Plus have not only built Tuvalu’s capacity on RE and EE but have leveraged additional resources and support for Tuvalu such as the European Union and World Bank that see RE reaching the outer Islands and that for schools and health centres”, Dr. Netatua Pelesikoti said.

UNDP Samoa Multi-Country Office, commended the PM and Government of Tuvalu for its efforts in decreasing Greenhouse Gas Emissions as well as its contribution to supporting the Sustainable Development Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

The Hon. Enele Sosene Sopoaga and Dr. Netatua Pelesikoti had the honor of cutting the ribbon to the newly established EE Demo Fale. This was followed by a tour of the Fale by all the Government Officials, SPREP and UNDP.

 

Contact information

Mafalu Lotolua, General Manager-TEC, Tel: (688) 20352; email: mlotolua@tectuvalu.tv / mafaluloto2@gmail.com

Dr.Netatua Pelesikoti, Director of CC-SPREP, Tel: (685) 21929 Ext 209; email: netatuap@sprep.org

Tessa Tafua, UNDP MCO Samoa Programme Officer, Tel: (685) 23670 Ext 21; email: tessa.tafua@undp.org