Tonga was elected Vice President of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) representing the Asia Pacific regions at its first General Assembly, which was held in New Delhi, India from the 1st-3rd October, 2018.
This is the recognition of Tonga’s effort in promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency in the region, and its early ratification of ISA. Tonga is also hosting the region’s Pacific Centre of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE).
Tonga’s Energy Minister, Hon. Poasi M. Tei said, “Tonga will be holding the ISA Vice President position for a two-year term. This is a significant position held by Tonga in one of the newest and largest international solar organisation in the world.”
Led by Tonga’s Energy Minister, Hon. Poasi M. Tei, accompanied by Dr. Tevita Tukunga and Mr. ‘Ofa Sefana of the Department of Energy (MEIDECC), the Tongan delegation was able to join 120 countries, and over 275 speakers and global energy leaders deliberating on the roadmap for a new energy future.
ISA seeks to serve solar technology deployment requirements of the solar resource rich member countries located between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. Most of these countries are geographically located for optimal absorption of the sun’s rays.
Tonga’s Energy Department, through its National Focal Point, the CEO for the Ministry of MEIDECC, Mr. Paula Pouvalu Ma’u has officially lodged multimillions worth of solar projects to the ISA for funding.
The proposed projects will bring a total 3.23MWp solar technology capacity to the Kingdom, which will be focussing mostly on outer-islands’ full service household electrification, and providing power energy to agricultural, tourism and water supply sectors, as well as capacity development.
MEIDECC is expected to increase its proposed project cost to cater for on-grid electrification with additional battery energy storage system.
In inaugurating of the assembly, the Indian Prime Minister, Hon. Narendra Modi said, “The ISA will play the role of OPEC in the future. The role played by oil wells today will be taken over by the sun rays. ISA will meet the energy requirement of the world in the years to come.”
He said that the nature is now indicating the options such as solar, wind and water, offer more sustainable energy solutions.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, “Climate Change is an existential threat to all of us. The solution is act now to reduce gas emission and this ISA represents exactly what needs to be don e and represents the future.”
“I applaud your goal of mobilizing $1 trillion dollars towards the deployment of 1,000 gigawatts of solar energy by 2030.”
Mr. Guterres said that it is clear that we are witnessing a global renewable energy revolution, and solar energy is at the centre of this revolution.
The ISA’s Interim Director General, Mr. Upendra Tripathy was also elected as the 1st Secretary General of the assembly.