In the presence of the Minister for MEIDECC, Hon. Poasi Tei, and the former Deputy Prime Minister and Member of Parliament, Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni and guests, the PCREEE launched two special regional initiatives and presented awards to commemorate its first anniversary.
PCREEE Sustainable Energy Entrepreneurship Support Facility was launched to support the setting up of new businesses relating to sustainable energy in the member countries of the Pacific Community. The facility is not a cash grant but a technical facility to support activities like market studies, packaging of loan proposals, technical assistance on preparing tenders and business mentoring by established sister businesses in the region. Discussions are underway in terms of partnering with the Global Green Growth Initiative’s Youth Green Entrepreneurship Programme and other interested partners.
PCREEE Sustainable Energy Innovation Competition was launched to promote technical innovation in renewable energy and energy efficiency in the Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs). The competition aims, for instance, innovation in capturing solar, wind, hydro, tidal and wave energy and in reusing waste heat – with a focus on the industrial, tourism and the manufacturing sectors. There will be a separate competition for the senior classes in secondary schools.
In February this year, PCREEE launched its Sustainable Energy Research Support Fund. This fund is to support Pacific islands tertiary students to conduct research relating to sustainable energy in the PICTs. At the anniversary celebration, the Hon. Poasi Tei presented the funding award to Mr Kakau-Moe-Loa Foliaki, a PhD student at the Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago, New Zealand. Foliaki’s research is on Understanding the energy cultures profile for the residential sector of Tonga and how to inform effective energy efficiency policy, with a total research budget of NZD 22,000. On hand at the celebration was Foliaki’s mother, Vasiuola Foliaki, to receive the award (pictured below).
The second award was presented to Vinal Vishal Prakash (pictured below), a Masters student at the Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment, University of the South Pacific. Prakash’s research topic is A sustainable island community and the role of Renewable energy in providing access to Energy services in a remote island, with a total budget of FJD 9985.59.