New office to promote renewable energy

The government aims to have the National Energy Authority (NEA) fully operational by 2018 in its plans to carry out widespread electrification of the country.

Under the NEA, both renewable and non-renewable energy sources will be given focus by boosting infrastructure and capacity to advance electrification.

Acting director of regulations & licensing at the Department of Petroleum and Energy, Martin Bonou, says according to their current plans, the NEA is to be established next year and become operational before APEC 2018.

The NEA will be guided by the National Energy Policy and the Energy Efficiency Policy. This is to ensure infrastructure and capacity is in place to deliver electrification as well as rolling it out in a sustainable manner.

An ANZ Insights workshop held in PNG last November revealed that PNG has to triple its current capacity to kick start electrification.

PNG currently generates 600 Megawatts (MW) of electricity.

Several electricity projects are on foot in the country, with the largest being the Purari Hydro Power Project, which is expected to generate 10,000 Kilowatts (KW) and said to feed into Australia and Indonesia.

While a mix of energy sources will be utilised to add to the electrification program, the Government views renewable energy as the future for PNG.

According to the National Energy Policy 2016 -2020, renewable energy is the most abundant source of energy in PNG, and if fully harnessed, can contribute to 100 percent powering of electricity in the country.

This view is contained in the ‘Vision 2050’ and will be implemented by the NEA.

Cedric Patjole