USD$100m needed to achieve Samoa’s renewable energy goals

Photo: Electric Power Corporation Samoa

Samoa needs approximately another USD$100 million in capital to achieve its goal of generating 70 percent of its energy needs by renewable energy sources by 2030.

This is according to the Chief Engineer of the Electric Power Corporation, Afamasaga Victor Elia who said this will also lead to the provision of electricity at a cheaper price to consumers by the target year.

Speaking at the opening of the Samoa Energy Week, Afamasaga said this will provide more opportunities for the sector in achieving these goals.

“Going further, if we really want to achieve 70 percent of renewable energy, we are basically looking at another USD$100million as the capital cost to build all these projects,” he said.

“But those costs will be absorbed by the private sector and investors through the Independent Power Providers (IPP) legal agreement. So, when we sign these IPPs, normally in 20 to 30 years, these investors will be able to make up whatever amount of money they’ve spent already in building the infrastructure and at the same time providing the Samoan people a cheap electricity price.”

Afamasaga said that in the next five years, the demand will require more generation and today, the peak value of the system EPC has is 30megawatts and will keep growing in the years to come.

“As the demand increases, that’s the increase of generation required. So, by 2030, we are trying to achieve that 70 percent, but we don’t know how much peak demand it will be in the next five years from now; so, it’s an ongoing development,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Samoa Energy sector is hosting regional energy specialists and champions to exchange ideas and knowledge for a successful energy transitioning for the betterment of Samoa under the theme, “Sustainable Energy Transition Enhanced”.

The Energy Week focuses on enhancing sustainable energy and it is EPC supporting the Government in their pathway in 2022 going on to 2027 for EPC to look at more options to provide renewable energy in its generation capacity.

Afamasaga said EPC is optimistic in a way that donors are available and investment that people want to help Samoa in building its power industry more so at a cheaper price.

This is through signing legal agreements with IPPs, and the exchange will give IPPs a demonstration on where Samoa’s goals stand for renewable energy.

“But we have to be very careful with signing all these agreements because at the end of the day, all these money is going out of the country; so, we have to look at our economy before we sign with overseas IPPs,” he added.

EPC recorded a tremendous shift in the deployment and utilisation of Renewable Energy Technologies in Samoa and renewable energy’s notable developments will enable Samoa to transform the electricity supply to 70 percent from renewable energy.

EPC’s Annual Report 2019-2020 recorded 45 percent of Samoa’s electricity was already generated from renewable energy. Most of the electricity in Samoa, particularly for the main grid, is generated from diesel, hydro-power and solar generation stations and a very small amount of electricity is produced from wind energy and biomass resources.