Tonga is continued to be increasingly dependent on imported fossil fuels that dominates its Greenhouse Gas emissions. To reduce its energy reliance on the imported fuel, Tonga has adopted an energy target under Tonga Energy Road map (TERM) of 70% renewable energy by 2030. The Nationally Determined Contribution of Tonga also reflect these targets, joining the global community to reduce GHG emission. Tonga’s renewable energy development is so far based on solar and wind resources.
Hence, Tonga has made this CTCN request to explore the feasibility of generating base load energy at an industrial scale of 0.5 MW from the biogas to diversify the energy source and accelerating the renewable energy transition. Tonga’s tropical climate also makes it favourable for biomass planting and biogas has been demonstrated to be used at household and institutional levels Tonga as well as in other Pacific Island Countries. While biogas is a promising resource to be used for generating base load energy at industrial scale, it also could have sustainable impacts both in positive and negative ways along the value chain of Bioeconomy. Land use change, creating competition for food, incremental usage of water and energy, generation of waste are some of these impacts. The request is designed to address such impacts through Circular Economy approach. Circular Economy is where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible, and the generation of waste minimized. Hence, it ensures best utilization of resources and least generation of wastes.
The outcome of this request will support the Govt. of Tonga to take decision on considering the biogas as a source of energy generation at industrial scale (0.5 MW and above) to include it in the national strategy/ roadmap as a base load to achieve circular economy.
The main activities to achieve this outcome will be:
- Biogas/biomass resource assessment and baseline analysis of biogas technologies
- Feasibility study of biogas-based energy generation at industrial scale (0.5 MW) in Tonga
- Capacity development on biogas technologies
- Support in funding proposal development to request fund for implementation of biogas to energy plant and support to procure technical resources
Besides NDE and the project proponent the relevant department in the ministry, local resources in the related field, farmer’s federation and critical players along the value chain of the bio-economy value chain in Tonga will have important role in this project.