We are excited to announce that our CEO, Huon Hoogesteger, has just published a commentary article on the current energy crisis in Vanuatu. In this article, he shares his insights on the untapped potential of renewable energy in Vanuatu, a nation blessed with abundant sunlight. Despite the rising cost of electricity in the country, he firmly believes that every resident of Vanuatu has the opportunity to see their energy bills cut in half by embracing renewable energy.
Here is an article excerpt, as covered by the Daily Post:
I’m an energy expert who has been coming to Vanuatu for 15 years. Over that time, I’ve helped install solar panels on schools as part of a volunteer effort to help these vital institutions cut a huge operating cost. Unfortunately, every time I visit it seems the cost of electricity just keeps going up.
This is a little frustrating! Vanuatu is rich in one of the best energy commodities around: sunlight. So what’s really going on? Having designed, installed and rolled out major renewable projects across Australia for over a decade, I’ve helped industry after industry, and business after business cut their electricity bills, sometimes in half. I’m confident the same can be done in Vanuatu. I believe with very little risk and the right action, every single resident of Vanuatu can see their energy bills cut in half. We just need to push past the untruths about renewable energy.
Recently, concerns have been raised in this paper regarding potential job losses during the transition to renewable energy, concerns raised during the 5th Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers Meeting (PRETMM) in Port Vila. While these concerns may seem valid based on previous industrial transitions, the situation is different when it comes to Vanuatu (and the Pacific more broadly) and its shift towards renewable energy. On a positive note, Minister for Energy Ralph Regenvanu also recognised the need for a move to energy transformation.
First, about jobs. There’s actually not many of them in the fossil fuel economy within Vanuatu. Currently, Vanuatu’s power industry relies heavily on diesel generators. This industry offers very limited job opportunities in power generation.