Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee says New Zealand’s renewable energy expertise are in demand worldwide as our Development Programme continues to help Pacific Island nations achieve renewable energy targets.
Mr Brownlee has welcomed the signing of a Partnership Arrangement between New Zealand and the African Union Commission to establish the New Zealand – Africa Geothermal Facility.
The facility – managed by the New Zealand Development Programme – will provide about $10 million over the next five years to enhance geothermal development in 11 East African countries.
“The agreement will allow New Zealand to share its expertise in this sector by delivering targeted technical help, advice, development and training,” Mr Brownlee says.
“In Indonesia, New Zealand is partnering with government agencies to provide further technical assistance and capacity building to establish a government geothermal exploration programme and support prioritising and allocating geothermal areas for development.
“Since 2014, New Zealand has funded a regional geothermal advisor to support advancing geothermal development plans for five Eastern Caribbean countries, including with the Commonwealth of Dominica.
“Under our partnership with the Commonwealth of Dominica, a New Zealand project manager has recently been appointed to the Dominica Geothermal Development Company to manage construction of a 7 megawatt geothermal power plant.
“The project, which is 100 per cent government-owned, is due for completion in mid-2019 and will be the Caribbean’s first geothermal power plant.
“These projects are building on our domestic expertise in developing geothermal resource and generation and the leadership we’ve shown finding clean energy solutions in the Pacific.
“Our programme’s energy portfolio includes more than 40 activities with expenditure of $126 million from 2015 to 2018.
“About 82 per cent of our energy spend from 2015 to 2018 will be spent in the Pacific.
“Pacific Island nations have ambitious targets for renewable electricity generation, with most in Polynesia close to 50 per cent. Despite this, access to modern energy services in Melanesia remains among the lowest rates in the world.
“New Zealand has invested more than $120 million in the Pacific energy sector since 2013 and we’re proud to help support the Pacific in this area.
“Climate change is already changing lives and livelihoods across the Pacific.
“I believe it’s essential that New Zealand development funding can add to the resilience of these countries and help boost our Pacific neighbours’ renewable energy generation,” Mr Brownlee says.