Solar energy in Papua New Guinea

Alex Chong,  Technical Sales Consultant at Energy Matters’ sister company Apollo Energy, recently again travelled to Papua New Guinea to assist with the installation of another small power system in a remote, disadvantaged community.


In Australia, we’re used to multi-kilowatt systems being standard; but in Papua New Guinea, the systems are often measured in watts – in part due to the remoteness of the locations where they are installed.

But even a tiny solar power system can make a massive positive change in lives; providing light and the ability to maintain communications – it can quite literally save lives.

With 4 Daqo solar panels provided by Energy Matters in tow and other necessary equipment, Alex set off to install a 12V off-grid system to power up 10 x 5W LED lights plus mobile and laptop chargers for a new health clinic in remote Chimbu Province.

To reach the location involved a flight from Port Moresby to Mt Hagan, followed by 5 hours travel via 4WD.

While a beautiful part of the world, it’s not one where you want to get sick due to its isolation and very limited health services. The new health clinic has just 1 doctor and two nurses for a community of 8000. An outbreak of measles earlier this year in the district took the lives of 3 children.

The organizer of this project was HOPE Worldwide Australia; a non-government organisation committed to bringing hope and changing the lives of those in need.

This isn’t the first time Alex has travelled to Papua New Guinea to assist with a solar project. In 2013, he helped with the installation of small solar panel systems on the rooftops of another rural clinic in the Chimbu province and 9 Mile Urban Clinic in Port Moresby. That trip had some interesting encounters, including a brush with bandits. It seems being a solar installer in Papua New Guinea is not for the faint-hearted.

Solar Systems