Pacific Regional Capacity Building on Energy Management and Energy Audits
Small Islands Development States (SIDS) are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and are still heavily dependent on fossil fuel imports to meet its energy needs including the generation of electricity. The high cost of fossil fuel imports has resulted in the relatively high price of goods and services in SIDS. Consequently, decreasing the amount of electricity and fossil fuel use can provide significant financial benefits to consumers at household and macroeconomic level and simultaneously tackle the climate crisis through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Pacific SIDS economies are relatively diversified, with several sectors, like tourism, fisheries, etc., making tangible contributions to GDP annually including the commercial and industrial sectors. Recognising that energy is an inevitable cost of doing business, there are several advantages to improving the energy efficiency in these sectors. Through energy audits and implementation of energy efficiency and energy management practices, business can significantly lower their operating costs and improve health and safety conditions by identifying opportunities to reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiency. Furthermore, the implementation of energy efficiency measures can reduce the environmental impacts of a business which is increasingly attractive for environmentally sustainable consumers and tourists. The Pacific SIDS, through its policies and programmes have prioritised energy efficiency including strengthening the capacity of its citizens to undertake energy assessments of their homes, schools, and businesses, to identify cost saving measures and to reduce their energy consumption. Overall, improving energy efficiency and conservation through proper energy management practices can positively impact the economies by not only reducing energy waste and saving money but it can also contribute to bolstering the country’s energy security and can deliver financial benefits to public budgets through increased income and lower expenses.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and other development partners has been providing support to SIDS energy transition efforts through the uptake of renewables and energy efficiency. Through the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative, IRENA, in collaboration with the Pacific Community (SPC), the Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) and the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Meteorological Services of Government of Fiji hosted a five-day training which aimed to strengthen the capacity of entry level officers in Pacific SIDS Energy Divisions, Power Utilities and other relevant sectors to conduct energy audits to better understand and manage energy consumption. In this 5-day training participants learnt though a combination of theoretical and practical sessions about:
- The principles of energy use, including the importance of energy efficiency and conservation and its contribution to addressing climate change and sustainable development.
- How to conduct an energy audit and manage electricity consumption through a range of energy saving measures and best practices in various sectors.