The Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) hosted by the Pacific Community (SPC) has commenced operations in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.
At the margins of the 10th Conference of the Pacific Community and the celebration of its 70th Anniversary, a memorandum of understanding was signed by Dr Colin Tukuitonga, Director General of the Pacific Community (SPC) and Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC) and Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Tonga. The MoU highlights the firm commitments of both parties to collaborate and to support the long-term sustainability of the Nuku’alofa-based PCREEE.
“Tonga is privileged to host PCREEE on behalf of the members of the Pacific Community. We are not only providing the office space and facilities, we are providing Tongan experts to support the initial technical expertise at the Centre. We will also make available our numerous renewable energy and energy efficiency projects on the ground for the research and training activities of the Centre and we are prepared to assist in the resource mobilisation effort of the Centre,” said Tonga’s Deputy Prime Minister, Siaosi Sovaleni.
“SPC works for the well-being of Pacific people through science, knowledge and innovation. SPC is committed to ensure PCREEE becomes a knowledge and innovative hub that brings together world class technical expertise and knowledge from around the world to serve the sustainable energy needs of its members,” said Dr Colin Tukuitonga.
“For this commitment, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Solomone Fifita as the interim head of the PCREEE. Mr. Fifita is a veteran with more than 30 years of work experience in the energy sector of the Pacific Islands. A former Energy Planner in Tonga, he has also served in senior energy positions with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the Geoscience Division of SPC, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme and in the last seven years was the head of the Pacific Regional Energy Programme hosted by the Economic Development Division of SPC. Mr Fifita is a respected professional in the region and is recognised internationally. He has served as Lead Reviewer for the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and as Lead Author for specialised energy-related reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC”, said Dr Colin Tukuitonga.
The PCREEE is a new approach to strengthening SPC’s in-country presence, building strategic partnerships with member countries and collaborating within a global network of regional centres of excellence in priority sectors / areas for the Pacific Island countries and territories.
PCREEE will up-scale and replicate innovative energy models, targeting private sector activities in capacity development, knowledge management and innovation, awareness raising, as well as private sector investment and business promotion.
Furthermore it will support targeted renewable energy and energy efficiency programs to enhance the productivity of key industries with high job leverage (e.g. agriculture, tourism, fishery, manufacturing, creative industry) and the creation of a local sustainable energy servicing and manufacturing industry.
The centre is co-hosted by SPC and the Tonga Government at Nuku’alofa, Tonga and is a collaboration between SPC, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, SIDS Dock, the Government of Tonga and the Government of Austria.