Sunday, 14 Apr 2024

NUKU’ALOFA: 10th April 2024

“Aspiring to a just and equitable transition to a fossil fuel free Pacific means doubling our effort to build the local capacity to plan, design, install and maintain these renewable and energy efficient systems.”  These were the sentiments expressed by the Director of Pacific Community’s Polynesia Regional Office, Ms Elsie Fukofuka when she delivered the opening remarks to a training of trainers’ workshop on the Development of a Level 5 qualification on Sustainable Energy for Tonga.

Gathered at the Nuku’alofa-based Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) on 10th April 2024 were representatives of the Department of Energy, Tonga Power Ltd, the Energy Commission, the Tonga National University, and the electrical contractors’ Association to look at the skill sets and the competency required for the Diploma level qualification and the pursuit of Tonga’s target of 100% renewable energy by 2035.

The workshop noted the disproportionate allocation of funding resources to renewable energy installations, with less than 1% on training and capacity building.   It also noted the need to institutionalize training and capacity building in national qualifications frameworks, local universities and Technical Training Institutes.

“Certainly, some of our trained people will be lost to overseas employment opportunities and we just need to train some more people and we need to provide training pathways, such as the Diploma, for our young women and men to use as a platform to pursue higher qualifications and technical competencies.” 

The workshop was delivered by the Sustainable Energy Industry Association of the Pacific Islands (SEIAPI) and was conducted with the support of the Solar Technology and Application Resource Centres (STAR-C) program, jointly managed by UNIDO and the International Solar Alliance.