A signing ceremony, performed between the Prime Minister of Tonga, Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva and the Ambassador of Japan to Tonga, HE Mr. Yukio Numata together with JICA Fiji representative, Mr. Sawada and the Deputy Prime Minister Hon Siaosi Sovaleni, took place in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.
The ceremony for the introduction of wind power renewable energy generation in Tongatapu resulted with the allocation of the TOP40 million (US$17.25 million) grant towards the construction of five wind turbines in Niutoua adding a further 1.3 MW in total to Tonga’s renewable energy portfolio.
During the Japan-Tonga governments' signing ceremony, Mr Numata remarked:
“This project follows on from the project for the introduction of a micro-grid control system and solar PV which was completed in March 2015. The project aims to assist the Government of Tonga to achieve its goal of increasing the proportion of renewable energy to 50% of Tonga’s electricity supply generation in accordance with the Government’s implementation policy in Tonga’s Energy Road Map 2010-2020 (TERM). The project is unique as it is based on another study of Tonga’s vulnerability to natural hazards including earthquakes, tsunami and cyclones.”
Prime Minister of Tonga, Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva, stated:
“Energy is a vital element in Tonga’s social and economic development and it enhances the wellbeing and livelihood of the Tongan people. The Government of Tonga has taken extensive measures to ensure that clean and renewable energy is accessible, well maintained and transforming to the economic landscape of the physical environment and eco-system.”
Later this year, construction phase will start and is expected to be completed in May 2019. Recognizing the urgent need for a transition to renewable energy, Tonga was the first Pacific Island Country to create the first clean energy road map with a commitment to obtain a 100% renewable energy by 2035.