Energy Efficiency – Key enabler to address COVID-19 pandemic and increasing fuel price

The Department of Energy (DOE) through the Ministry of Climate change (MoCC) launched on the development of its National Energy Efficiency Strategy and Action Plan (NEESAP) yesterday.

The inception workshop which brings together over 25 participants from across key stakeholders from the government departments, development partners, the power utilities, the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), and the importers, wholesalers and retailers of electrical equipment and appliances.

Speaking at the opening of the inception meeting, Ms Esline Garaebiti, Director General (DG)of the Ministry of Climate Change emphasized the importance of tackling the issue of energy security in Vanuatu.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is adding further pressure to the global and national economic situation,” she said.

“The effects of the Russia and Ukraine war is already being felt in our country. The price of fuel has increased by 15% within this month.”

She added that the “…development of the National Energy Efficiency Strategy and Action Plan (NEESAP) and the Assessment Report to enhance regulation for Energy Efficiency Products in Vanuatu is very timely”.

The DG further emphasized the need to develop the NEESAP in a participatory and inclusive approach where key stakeholders are consulted and given the opportunity to comment on the NEESAP document.

Speaking on behalf of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Mr. Jesse Benjamin, Senior Officer Vanuatu highlighted the collaborations of GGGI with the Vanuatu Government in the country.

“To address the development challenges of Vanuatu and meet the National Sustainable Development Goals, our support focused on green investments, climate action, solar PV and waste management,” he said.

Mr. Benjamin added that the development of the NEESAP and the Assessment Report on Options for EE Enforcement is part of the Government’s concerted effort to pursue 15% energy savings and contribute to GHG emission reductions of around 30KtCO2e/year as outlined in the Vanuatu’s NDC targets.

Although the meeting was conducted virtually, there was effective participation and contribution from the participants.

An issue raised at the meeting was the need for the Government to have updated information on key issues affecting energy efficiency in the country so that policies and plans are based on up-to-date data.

Participants from the workshop have expressed appreciation for their participation and are looking forward to engage in the development of the NEESAP and the Assessment Report on Options for Energy Efficiency Enforcement.

The assignment for the completion of the NEESAP and the Assessment Report on Options for EE Enforcement is expected to be completed by September this year.