HONIARA, April 7, 2017 – Solomon Islands is one step closer to ending its near-total reliance on diesel-powered electricity, following the Green Climate Fund (GCF) approval of US$86 million towards the Tina River Hydropower Project.
The Green Climate Fund’s Board of Directors announced their approval of the funding proposal at the conclusion of this week’s Board Meeting in Songdo, Korea. While much work still remains to be done to bring the Tina River Hydro Project to fruition, the decision represents a key milestone in Solomon Islands’ goal of significantly reducing its reliance on imported fuel for its energy needs. The project will allow the Government to exceed its 2025 greenhouse gas emission reduction target by more than two and a half times.
“We congratulate the Solomon Islands Government for this significant milestone, and we are also grateful to the Global Climate Fund Secretariat and Board of Directors for their support of this transformational project,” said Michel Kerf, the World Bank’s Country Director for Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and the Pacific Islands.
The Solomon Islands economy is burdened with one of the most expensive electricity retail tariffs in the world, at US$0.65/KWH. Ninety-seven percent of Solomon Islands electricity generation is generated from diesel fuel, and just 12 percent of homes across the country being currently connected to grid power.
Since 2006, the World Bank has been helping the Solomon Islands Government prepare the Tina River Hydropower Project by supporting engineering and feasibility studies focused on the potential environmental and social impact of the project, as well as economic and safety analyses, and by helping the government’s development of fair, culturally-appropriate approaches to community benefit sharing and land use.
The Green Climate Fund is the second development partner to announce its funding support for Tina River Hydro, the first was the International Renewable Energy Agency/Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (IRENA/ADFD) facility which approved US$15 million for the project earlier this year.
Other development partners have indicated their potential support including the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the Government of Australia and the Economic Development Cooperation Fund of Korea. Total funding support for the Tina River Hydro project will be concluded in August this year.