The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved US$7 million for the Tuvalu Energy Sector Development Project (ESDP), which will support Tuvalu’s goals of 100 percent renewable energy and 30 percent efficiency improvements by 2020.
The Tuvalu ESDP will support a reduction in the reliance on imported fuel for electricity generation through investment in renewable energy development, increasing the efficiency of energy supply and use, and improving the capacity of the Government of Tuvalu and the national energy supplier – the Tuvalu Energy Corporation (TEC) – to better manage energy delivery.
“Facilitating the delivery of efficient and renewable energy in Tuvalu will ultimately help to improve the affordability and sustainability of electricity services for households and businesses,” said Franz Drees-Gross, Country Director for the World Bank in Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific Islands. “Electricity access is intrinsically linked to better standards of education, healthcare, gender equality and poverty reduction – all of which will positively impact the lives of the people of Tuvalu.”
Specifically, the project will increase the proportion of renewable energy in TEC’s electricity generation system through the supply and installation of solar and wind power infrastructure, systems to provide power grid stability and store excess energy produced. The project will also promote more efficient energy use through the supply and installation of prepayment meters for TEC customers and smart meters for large consumers, along with enhanced insulation and other energy efficiency measures. TEC and the Government will receive technical assistance and training to enable staff to effectively implement the project.
“Creating efficiencies in our energy use and increasing renewable sources are vital to reducing fuel imports and the cost of electricity over time,” said Hon. Vete Sakaio, Tuvalu’s Minister of Public Utilities and Infrastructure. “This project is building on work already underway to strengthen our energy sector, with development partners including the Governments of New Zealand, the European Union, and the UAE.”
The project considers gender as a cross cutting issue associated with energy development. A Gender Scoping Study was undertaken during ESDP preparations, with a Gender Action Plan and Monitoring and Evaluation Frameworksubsequently prepared. This will ensure men and women have equal input into the project’s design and implementation,and share equally in the benefits of increased energy affordability.
The Tuvalu ESDP will be funded through a US$7 million grant from the IDA, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries.