Praxis Discussion: Renewable Energy in the Pacific
December 4, 2015World Bank offices, Level 19, 14 Martin Place, Sydney, NSW

As one of the most dispersed regions in the world, the Pacific faces unique challenges in providing affordable and accessible electricity – with a heavy reliance on diesel-fueled generators in many areas to power homes and businesses.

Electricity prices in the region are among the highest in the world, with some countries spending as much as 25% of gross domestic product on fuel imports – leaving household incomes, inflation levels and national finances all highly vulnerable to volatile Asia-Pacific oil markets.

To mitigate this exposure, Pacific governments are increasingly turning to alternative energy sources, including biofuels, wind, solar and hydro systems. In addition to issues of cost, the shift to renewables may help to address the need for energy which is cleaner and easier to generate in remote areas.

As eyes turn to Paris ahead of COP21, what actions are being taken in the Pacific region to increase the uptake of renewables? Are new technologies even worth investing in? And what role do (or should) development partners play?

Joining us to discuss these critical topics we have Andrew Daka, Executive Director, Pacific Power Association, Suva; Matthew Dornan, Research Fellow, Australian National University, Canberra; Paul Fulton, Manager, Joule Logic, Hobart and; Kamleshwar Khelawan, Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank, Sydney.


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The panel discussion will last 30 minutes, with an additional 30 minutes for audience questions.  

Refreshments will be provided. As this is a catered event, please only RSVP if your attendance is assured.  

  • Andrew Daka

    Executive Director, Pacific Power Association
    Andrew Daka is the Executive Director of the Pacific Power Association, a regional grouping of Pacific Island and Territory utilities based in Suva, Fiji. Andrew has worked in electric utilities for 22 years in various technical capacities, including General Manager of the Solomon Islands Electricity Authority. Andrew joined the Pacific Power Association in 2009 as Power Sector Adviser, and has been Executive Director for the past four years.
  • Matthew Dornan

    Research Fellow, Australian National University
    Matthew Dornan is a research fellow at the Development Policy Centre in the Australian National University, where he has worked since 2011. An economist, he leads the centre’s research on economic development in the Pacific islands and has published extensively on energy policy in the region. Matthew received his PhD from the Crawford School of Public Policy at ANU, which focused on the economics and public policy of renewable energy development and rural electrification in Fiji. He has consulted for various development partners in the Pacific, and previously worked across the region for the Australian aid program.
  • Paul Fulton

    Manager, Joule Logic
    Paul formed consultancy Joule Logic in 2009 after a senior career in the hydro-electricity and wind energy fields. Paul has an excellent understanding of the technical and commercial issues surrounding all stages of renewables development and operation, including hydro power, solar and wind. Paul has been involved in many Australian wind farm developments and has worked extensively on renewables projects in China, India, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Paul has a Bachelor of Engineering and a Master of Business Administration and enjoys solving challenging problems.
  • Kamleshwar Khelawan

    Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank
    Kamleshwar Khelawan, Senior Energy Specialist at the World Bank, has worked extensively across the Asia Pacific to promote rural electrification and renewable energy. His past roles have included senior positions with the Australian Energy Market Commission, AGL Energy Limited, Pacific Power and the Fiji Electricity Authority. Kamleshwar supports the World Bank’s engagement in the energy sector which, consistent with the United Nation’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Initiative, is aimed at assisting developing countries to secure the affordable, reliable and sustainable energy supply needed to end poverty and promote shared prosperity.
event details
  • when: Friday 4 December, 2015, 1pm – 2pm. Please arrive by 12:45pm to be seated on time.
  • where: World Bank offices, Level 19, 14 Martin Place, Sydney, NSW
  • With live video relay at our offices: 
    Dili, Avenida dos Direitos Humanos
    Honiara, The World Bank, Mud Alley, Honiara
    Port Moresby offices, Deloitte Tower, Level 13, Port Moresby NCD
  • RSVP: By 6pm, Monday 30 November, 2015 to Capacity is limited.
  • moderator: Auskar Surbakti, Reporter and Presenter, Australian Broadcasting Corporation