A new solar energy project has the potential to reduce diesel fuel use in Kiribati by up to 230,000 litres a year.
A formal agreement for the project was signed between the Government of Kiribati and the World Bank at the Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland on Monday.
The project will install solar panels at four sites across the capital of South Tarawa and feed them into the existing power grid.
Training will also be provided to the Kiribati Public Utilities Board to operate and maintain the solar power stations.
The project is expected to reduce diesel fuel use in Kiribati by up to 230,000 litres a year, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
At present, it is estimated almost half of Kiribati’s 110,000 people live on Tarawa atoll and are dependent on expensive diesel generators to produce electricity.
The signing ceremony took place at the Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland and was attended by President of Kiribati Anote Tong and World Bank Country Director for the Pacific Islands Franz Drees-Gross.
Shifting Kiribati’s focus to reliable solar energy will provide a more secure and sustainable power source for the country’s people, President Anote Tong said.
Mr Drees-Gross said: “This project is a win-win for Kiribati and sets an important precedent for renewable energy development in the country.”
Find out more about the 2013 Pacific Energy Summit