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Tonga

Official Name:
Kingdom of Tonga
Region:

National Designated Entity

Type of organisation:
Government/Ministry
Name:
Mr. Paula Pouvalu Ma'u
Position:
Chief Executive Officer
Phone:
+676 28170
Emails:
paulm@mic.gov.to

Energy profile

Tonga (2012)

Type: 
Energy profile
Energy profile
Extent of network

Close to 95% of the population of Tonga has access to electricity, with 89% of all households having grid electricity access. All urban centres in the country have access to energy, as well as all rural areas on the main islands of Tonga. Photovoltaic (PV) technology has been used extensively to provide electricity to rural communities, primarily on outer islands that do not have grid supplier power. Transmission infrastructure in the country operates at 11 kV, with 415 V distribution lines.

Renewable energy potential

The Pacific Islands Renewable Energy Project (PIREP) has assessed the potential for renewable energy technologies in the country, and determined the following options: Biomass energyAlthough around 65% of the land area is forested for crop production (mostly coconuts), for the near term, there is little opportunity for biomass from forest products to be a significant energy resource. Timber milling is a small scale industry, with mostly senile coconut trees used as raw materials. Pine and hardwoods for export are being planted, but it will take many years until they can be harvested. However, after harvesting, there may be sufficient mill waste to provide biomass for energy. In general, agricultural and forest residues are not considered an exploitable resource for energy production.Biofuels In 1995, potential copra production was estimated to be sufficient to produce around 10 million litres (ML) of coconut oil per year. If rehabilitation efforts for the coconut industry are carried out, and if barriers to the production of biofuels can be eliminated, the maximum offset of diesel fuel by biofuel could be as high as 50%.BiogasAlthough there has been no assessment of the resource, sewage, urban waste and animal manure represent a useful resource. However, the potential is not considered sufficient to offset a significant percentage of petroleum imports, and no projects have been proposed as of yet. Should new sewage treatment facilities or landfill facilities be developed, including biogas generation, they could provide enough energy to operate the facilities themselves, with some surplus to feed into the national grid.Solar energySolar energy resources have a high potential in Tonga, particularly towards the north, where satellite measurements indicate average insolations of up to 5.8 kWh/m2/day. Nearly 20 years of solar powered rural electrification experience confirms that there is a viable resource. Plans are included in the country’s 2010 Energy Road Map to develop a comprehensive renewable resource assessment, including solar resources. A 2008 SOPAC study reported that there are 169 solar PV stand-alone systems in 6 islands in Tonga. Each of these systems has a capacity of 60 W.Wind energyA resource assessment carried out in Tongatapu in 1995 indicated that there is potential to develop wind energy in Tonga. However, due to turbulence issues, locating the turbines away from tall coconut trees will be necessary. Consideration should be given to locating turbines off-shore or in open swamp areas, to avoid turbulence from nearby trees, as well as avoiding land use issues. Average wind speeds for the islands vary between 3 and 6 m/s, with highest averages seen from May to October, and peaks of up to 8 m/s in coastal areas. Geothermal energyThere is a strong evidence of geothermal sources, however, there has not yet been a geothermal energy study for Tonga.HydropowerTonga does not currently utilise hydropower, nor is there any recognised potential for small- or large-scale hydro-electric power generation in the country, primarily due to the topography of the nation.There are sites in Vava’u which could provide tidal energy; however, it is unlikely that the cost of installation can be justified, and the potential resource has not been assessed. In addition, the potential has been recognised for utilising Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC). Due to the relatively experimental status of this technology, it is unlikely that developments will occur in the near future.

Energy framework

Tonga Energy Road  Map 2010-2020 (TERM)In April 2009, the Government and Development Partners with the coordination of the World Bank (WB), embarked on a process to undertake a sector-wide review and develop an approach to improving the performance of the energy sector and to mitigating the risks. The resulting document entitled the “Tonga Energy Road Map 2010-2020: Ten Year Road Map to Reduce Tonga’s Vulnerability to Oil Price shocks and Achieve an Increase in Quality Access to Modern Energy Services in an Environmentally Sustainable Manner”, or “Tonga Energy Road Map (TERM)” addresses improvements in petroleum supply chain and consideration of price hedging instruments, increased efficiency both in electricity supply and use, development of grid-connected renewable energy resources, improved access to quality electricity services in remote areas, reduced environmental impacts both locally and globally, enhanced energy security, and overall sector financial viability. The scope includes policy, legal, regulatory and institutional aspects of the sector as well as investment. It covers a ten year time period. As technologies, costs, demand for electricity and sources of financing change over time, it is envisioned that the TERM will be periodically updated to take these factors into account. The next TERM review is expected to be completed before the end of 2012.The Government formally adopted the TERM in August 2010 and by doing so, committed to key principles for the energy sector and an indicative implementation plan. The Bank will provide on-going support to the GOT in implementation of the TERM in the form of this project. Other development partners are also working with GOT preparing support for specific aspects of TERM implementation.In 2006, the government, through the Ministry of Lands, Surveys, and Natural Resources and Environment, and their Energy Planning Unit, drafted a National Renewable Energy Policy, with the aim of “the  provision  of  sufficient   socially,  financially,  economically,  technically, politically and environmentally sustainable renewable energy systems”. Commitments made in the policy include the creation of an adequate provision for renewable energy in a legislative framework, the encouragement of co-operation between public and private bodies in the sector, and the encouragement of both foreign and local investment.Tonga is also involved in a number of international programs, and is in receipt of technical and financial assistance from a variety of international institutions. The PIGGAREP program in the country is building on previous collaboration with the Italian government to rehabilitate solar home systems in outlying islands, and the country has received €5.9 million under the EU’s 10th EDF, for renewable energy financing and the development of sustainable livelihoods. In addition, TPL and the government have received assistance from the World Bank in load forecasting, in an effort to better direct improvements in the electricity supply system.

Source
Static Source:
  • Energy, Climate Change and Environment 2016 Insights

    Type: 
    Publication
    Publication date:

    This publication examines the sectors, technologies and policy measures that will be central in the transition to a low-carbon energy system. It addresses the following questions: (1) What are the roles of coal and gas in meeting the stringent decarbonisation requirements for the power sector consistent with IEA modelling of global climate goals? (2) What are moderate carbon prices accomplishing in the electricity sector, and how can they be helpful as part of a package of other policies?

  • USAID Climate Action Review: 2010-2016

    Type: 
    Publication
    Publication date:

    This report reviews what USAID and its partners have accomplished over six years. It describes how USAID ‘s climate work has evolved, summarizes its major achievements, and distills lessons learned and shares examples from a portfolio of activities across more than 40 countries and regional USAID missions.

  • Energy Changes Projektentwicklung GmbH

    Type: 
    Organisation
    Country of registration:
    Austria
    Relation to CTCN:
    Network Member

    Energy Changes´ (EC) business activities solely focus on GHG mitigation activities applying renewable energies and energy efficiency measures. EC identifies, evaluates and develops renewable energy/ energy efficiency and GHG mitigation projects. EC’s staff includes engineers, scientists, economists and business experts with many years of experience in sustainable energy, resource management and GHG mitigation. EC was founded in 2006 and has currently 15 employees and an annual turnover of approx. 2 million EUR.

  • Energy Department

    Type: 
    Organisation
    Country of registration:
    Tonga
    Relation to CTCN:
    TA proponent
  • Le Groupe-conseil baastel

    Type: 
    Organisation
    Country of registration:
    Canada
    Relation to CTCN:
    Network Member

    Founded in 1989, Le Groupe-conseil baastel (BAASTEL) has the mission of contributing to sustainable development. Baastel aims to strengthen the coherence of development issues for a multitude of actors and to improve the effectiveness of development aid in general. Baastel works in sectors that are distinct but complimentary in terms of sustainable development, notably in Environment, Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and Reduction (DRR), and Social Development. In addition, Baastel offers trainings in Result-Based Management (RBM) and language services.

  • The Evidence of Benefits for Poor People of Increased Renewable Electricity Capacity: Literature Review

    Type: 
    Publication
    Publication date:
    Objective:
    Sectors:

    This report provides the results of a review of the evidence that investments in electricity-generating capacity have benefits for poor people, and what factors influence that relationship. The review begins by elucidating a theory to break down the causal chain between additional renewable electricity generation capacity and poverty impacts in four stages or links, which can be formulated as four research questions: (1) What is the link between increased renewable electricity capacity and higher availability and reliability of supply?

  • PacGeo - Pacific Spatial Data Infrastructure

    Type: 
    Publication
    Publication date:
    Objective:

    PacGeo is an open access geospatial data repository for the Pacific Region providing premier geophysical, geodetic, and marine spatial data sets. Developed through collaboration between the GeoScience Division of Secretariat of the Pacific Community (GSD/SPC), University of Sydney, Geoscience Australia (GA), and GRID-Arendal. The development of PacGeo was combined with targeted training and capacity building activities conducted at the Pacific Maritime Boundary Working Group Meetings, held twice yearly at the University of Sydney and at other ad hoc events in the region.