HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is supporting the Solomon Islands push to tap more of its energy from clean sources, including hydro and solar power, a new ADB regional energy report said.

“The ADB-supported Solomon Islands Provincial Renewable Energy Project will construct the Fiu River Hydropower Plant near Auki, Malaita, and extend the existing power grid to new households,” said Anthony Maxwell, Senior Energy Specialist in ADB’s Pacific Department. “In addition, Solomon Islands Electricity Authority staff will be given training to operate hydropower plants.”

ADB is also helping to get solar-generated power connected to the existing Honiara electricity grid.

These activities are part of ADB’s broad portfolio of energy investments in the Pacific region, which will exceed $500 million by 2016, the Pacific Energy Update 2015 report said. The investments aim to support the region’s drive to cut reliance on fossil fuels and scale up the use of sustainable, low carbon power sources. The report notes that all grid-connected power in the country is currently generated from diesel, and an over-reliance on diesel fuel has resulted in high electricity tariffs.

ADB’s Country Program in the Solomon Islands prioritizes renewable energy and recognizes the importance of access to clean, affordable power.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including cofinancing of $9.2 billion.

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