The Fiji Electricity Authority will depend on several new renewable energy initiatives to meet the peak demand of 217 MW (amounting to an energy output of 1045 GWh per annum) by 2015. It hopesto meet 90 % of this demand by renewable energy sources. This was revealed by FEA CEO Hasmukh Patel at the Renewable Energy Talanoa held at USP on Wednesday 23 March 2011.
New entrants to the energy scene will include the waste-to-energy power generators iVITI Renewable Disenergy Power Plants Co Ltd, and the fuelwood energy producer Paciﬁc Renewable Energy Ltd, which will add 18 MW to the total distribution capacity from its wood-ﬁred Lautoka plant by 2013.The networking meeting was part of the programme of activities of Project DIREKT, an EU-funded renewable energy project led in the Paciﬁ c by Dr. Anirudh Singh. The 45 participants included renewable energy business entrepreneurs and representations from US and French embassies, international and regional energy organizations as well as several government departments. The main feature of the meeting was a group discussion based on the question “What is holding back renewable energy development in Fiji and the Paciﬁc?”.
Another important feature was a talk by iVITI’s Clair Thoms and Ratu Enesi Yavala on this ﬂ edgling new energy company’s plans to provide 10 MW of electricity to the FEA grid by 2013 from municipal solid waste (MSW). This will be the ﬁ rst energy provider in the region to use the technique of pyrolysis to break down our domestic waste into energy-rich components. As company chairperson Patrick Fong pointed out, this is a well-known technique of energy production from waste in Europe. iVITI will depend on its project partners Visser and Smit Hanab and Royal Volker Wessels Stevin from Europe to construct the plant and provide the communications infrastructure.
The meeting also heard of FEA’s plans to investigate wind-farm possibilities for Ovalau, and the prospects of FSC’s year-round production of 20–25 MW of power at its Rarawai Mill through the use of bagasse on-season and hog-fuel off-season. There is also a proposal by a new Independent Power Producer (IPP) for an 8.5 MW biomass-ﬁ red power plant for Labasa to be phased in over the next 5 years.
All invited participants to the meeting will become part of a network, (called the Project DIREKT Paciﬁc Network), and will be able to add their names to the database maintained at the main project website: www.direkt-project.eu.