President Tommy Remengesau Jr. is confident that Palau is in a strong position to meet its 2025 renewable energy target of 45 percent.
Remengesau told reporters on Wednesday that Palau is keen on growing the country’s renewable energy industry with the support of international partners.
“I am not only hopeful, I strongly believe it is possible,” Remengesau stated when asked if Palau would achieve the renewable target by 2025.
He said with Palau’s small population, it could easily switch to a more sustainable generation of electricity.
Remengesau said renewable energy sources such, as the sun is readily available in Palau, which will be more environmentally friendly and cheaper in the long run.
Palau, he said have all the elements to successfully achieve its renewable targets, from pledges of support for international donors, sunshine and to a new law that creates an energy regulator to set up the approval process for Independent Power Producers (IPP).
The president said Palau envisions being a model in the Pacific by leading the shift to renewable energy.
He said he sees the potential of Palau sourcing more of its electricity needs from renewable energies.
He said with Palau’s small population, the challenge of developing renewables could easily be addressed.
To bigger nations, 45 percent is an ambitious target, but for Palau, “it should not cost a lot of money, should not take a lot of resources, hardware, and technology. You successfully implement in Palau, bigger cities, bigger states will consider this good example that something small can contribute to something big,” he said.
Remengesau, recently returned from a Dallas-based conference hosted by Texas-based nonprofit organization EarthX.
Last year Palau has partnered with EarthX and Grid Market to assist in meeting its energy goals.
The partnership, according to an earlier press release said will transition Palau’s energy economy away from a dependency on imported diesel and will implement solar PV, wind, and battery storage.
In Palau’s energy action plan drafted last year, it stated that 45 percent renewable energy target would reduce annual carbon emissions from 53,000 to 39,200 tonnes a year.
The action plan also estimated that investments costs are projected to be at $70 million. Remenegsau said development partners would help Palau identify funding sources to meet their target by 2025.
He said that he is happy that Palau lawmakers are in support of “walking the talk” to forge ahead to a low-carbon future. (Bernadette H. Carreon)