|Type||Journal Article - Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews|
|Title||Access to electricity in Small Island Developing States of the Pacific: Issues and challenges|
Energy poverty is widespread in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the Pacific. It is
estimated that 70 percent of Pacific islander households do not have access to electricity, which is
equivalent to access rates in sub-Saharan Africa and slightly below the average for low income
countries. Pacific SIDS face unique challenges in expanding access to electricity, given that their
populations are spread across tens of thousands of islands. Governments and development
partners in Pacific SIDS continue to prioritise development of electricity grids, as is evident in
ongoing subsidisation of grid-based power consumption and the establishment of ambitious (gridbased)
renewable energy targets.
This paper argues that traditional approaches to rural electrification which prioritise grid
extension are not suited to the Pacific islands region. Increased funding should be directed by
both governments and development partners towards rural electrification, especially in off-grid
areas where isolated systems are more appropriate. Institutional reform is also important.
Regulatory reform is needed for power utilities to extend electricity grids into rural areas.
Institutional arrangements that facilitate the sustainable operation and maintenance of off-grid
systems also need to be established. Past donor and government-funded off-grid rural
electrification projects have rarely been sustainable. Alternative approaches involving payment of
output-based subsidies to energy service companies are worth exploring, although will only
succeed where sound regulatory arrangements are in place.
|»||Fiji - Population and Housing Census 2007|