Future of renewable energy shines brightly in Samoa

Aug 2, 2017

UNDP Resident Representative a.i, Notonegoro, the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Fiame Naomi Mataafa and Minister of Finance, Hon. Sala Epa Tuioti at the signing ceremony. Photo credit: UNDP/N.Vaa/2017.

The Government of Samoa and the United Nations Development Programme today officially signed an agreement on a new renewable energy project with Global Environment Fund. The signing brings the project another step closer to launch and Samoa’s climate and energy security goals. 

Known as ‘IMPRESS’ (“Improving the Performance and Reliability of RE Power System in Samoa”), the new project focuses on mitigation. It forms part of the Government’s plan to move away from fossil fuels and reach a target of 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025.  

“This new project will improve the sustainable and cost-effective use of indigenous renewable energy resources – such as biomass– for energy production. On the international stage, it will assist us in realizing our commitment to be 100% renewable by 2025, as under the Paris Agreement, as well as achieving the indicators under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7, ‘Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all’”, said the Hon. Deputy Prime Minister. The Honourable Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, along with the Honorable. Sili Epa Tuioti, Minister of Finance, and UNDP Resident Representative (a.i.) Notonegoro signed the Project Document during the official ceremony at the Central Bank of Samoa.

“Samoa has demonstrated significant commitment to addressing climate change, both in adapting to its impacts and mitigating – or reducing – greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. From a global perspective, our emissions are very small. However, we aim to demonstrate our concern and commitment as a small island developing state whose people are at the frontline of climate change.

“This means for communities in terms of energy security, there is other sources to look at and it will help the country as a whole in its efforts to be more resilient to climate change”, the Hon. Fiame Naomi Mata’afa added.  

The project funded with US$6,075,828 from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund and co-financing from the Government of Samoa and partners of over US$46 million, will be implemented by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) through the Renewable Energy Division as the main partner. Other partners, including the Samoa Trust Estate Corporation and Electric Power Corporation, will also help deliver specific components.

Over the coming 5 years, the project will address a range of key areas, including improved policy formulation and implementation at a national level; access to new renewable energy technologies; support for community initiatives for in saving electricity; productive and social uses of renewable energy and raising local communities awareness on the applications and benefits of renewable technologies.

The project is in line with national policies and measures to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions such as the Greenhouse Gas Abatement Strategy 2008-2018, National Infrastructure Strategic Plan (NISP) 2011-2021 and the STEC Corporate Plan 2015-2017. 

“For this project’s objective to be achieved we need contribution and participation from other stakeholders, private sector, civil society and Government. The 5-years project timeframe should give us enough time to see the results of our commitment to the Paris Agreement goal – having 100% renewable energy sources by 2025”, UNDP Resident Representative (a.i.) Notonegoro added.

Honourable Fiame Naomi Mata’afa emphasized the importance of partnerships, “Samoa is truly grateful to UNDP and the Global Environment Facility for the support”. 

The project is now ready to be implemented. 


Contact information

Vanda Faasoa Chan-Ting, ACEO RED-MNRE, Tel: (685) 67200; email: vanda@mnre.gov.ws  

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


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