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Samoa

Official Name:
Independent State of Samoa
Region:

National Designated Entity

Type of organisation:
Government/Ministry
Name:
Mr. Ulu Bismarck Crawley
Position:
Chief Executive Officer
Phone:
+685 67200
Emails:
bismarck.crawley@mnre.gov.ws

Energy profile

Independent State of Samoa (2012)

Type: 
Energy profile
Energy profile
Extent of network

According to the Strategy for the Development of Samoa 2008-2012, the population’s access to electricity is highest in the Pacific at 98% in 2001. The 2001 Population Census identified that 93% of all households used electricity for lighting, compared to only 38% in 1981. Since then, rural populations not connected to the grid have been supplied with electricity from renewable sources: solar power was launched in early February 2007 to meet the electricity needs of residents of Apolima Island. This illustrates the increasing coverage and demand for electricity against traditional sources. The EPC, the national utility, seeks alternative energy to electrify the remaining residents who are not connected to the grid.EPC’s power system comprises of a grid each on the Upolu and Savai’i islands, which together account for nearly all energy sales, and small stand-alone solar and diesel generation schemes on two isolated islands. The total installed capacity of EPC is 37.2 MW, including 24.7 MW of diesel generation. However, available and firm capacity is significantly less.

Renewable energy potential

Growth in Renewable share is expected to increase from 2012 with the introduction of the 400 KW Solar grid system and the 500 kW biomass gasification unit. The most promising sources of larger scale power generation are small run-of-river hydropower, wind energy, and biofuels. There are, however, many challenges including a lack of data on renewable energy potential, land tenure agreements, and the often higher equipment capital costs. HydropowerThere is significant potential for small-scale hydropower around many Samoan river systems, however the development of hydro power is constrained by land access issues. Over the years, rivers identified as having hydro potential on Savai’i are Vailoa, Lata, Vaita’i and Sili; while on Upolu are Namo, Lotofaga, Tafitoala and Faleseela. Savai'i hydropower capacity (10 megawatts [MW] in stages of 4 MW, 2 MW, and 2 MW by the year 2013) is capable of providing ample electricity (with a current peak demand of approximately 3MW) for more than 8 years. Potential sites on Upolu have been identified, and should boost hydro capacity by more than 45%, over a period of almost 20 years. The EPC is currently implementing the Hydro Monitoring and Data Collection Programme, in collaboration with the Water Resource Division (WRD) of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) with the financial support from ADB and SPREP’s Pacific Islands Greenhouse Gas Abatement through Renewable Energy Project (PIGGAREP). Six sites have been identified and feasibility studies are being carried out for some of the sites. The information from this will assist the EPC with decisions on hydro schemes.  Geothermal energyLocated in one of the world's most volcanically-active regions, total geothermal potential in Samoa is estimated at 4MW, significantly more than current peak demand. However, current development of is slow as capital investments for geothermal projects are high, and a more detailed resource assessment is still required.Biomass Energy / BiofuelsAn increased use of biomass is having significant environmental impacts. Estimates of Samoa’s total forest cover, mainly humid tropical rainforests with 75% on Savai’i, range from about 35% to 45% but data collection has been poor. Recent work suggests that the lower estimates are more accurate. Most commercial forest has been cleared for timber or agriculture or damaged by cyclones, with over 80% of forest non-commercial. There are four saw milling companies, all in Savai’i. Logging has declined from a recent peak of 16,000 m3 to 9000 m3 in 2003. As a rule of thumb, for 9000 m3 logs cut, 4500 m3 are extracted producing about 2500 m3 of waste. In 2001 it was estimated that extraction would be total in two to five years at current logging rates. Commercial logging will thus soon cease due to overexploitation but new plantation resources will not be ready for harvesting as sawlogs for a decade, limiting the practical potential of energy from woody biomass waste.There are about 22,000 hectares of land under coconut, many trees damaged by hurricanes but most within their economic bearing age. Coconut oil or its esters can be used as a biofuel to substitute for distillate. In the late 1990s, Samoa exported sufficient copra (4800 tonne) and coconut oil 3900 tonnes) to produce the equivalent in energy terms of nine million litres of distillate.The Electric Power Corporation (EPC) is pursuing the possibility of installing biomass gasifier generators, which use residues and wastes from coconut farming. An anaerobic digester installed at Tafaigata Landfill was proposed to test the feasibility of using methane from landfill to generate electricity; to self sustain the operation and also to feed into the national grid if there is excess. Thus far, the results are not as promising as expected, and the project is yet to be justified. Small-scale biogas digesters for home use have also been proposed, with reference to the high proportion of livestock ownership amongst the populace.Wind energyWith support from UNDP, the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) and the UN Risoe National Laboratory, the EPC, in collaboration with the MNRE and the Ministry of Finance's Energy Unit, continue to implement the Upolu and Savaii Wind Energy Assessment Project.Two wind monitoring masts were installed at Satitoa Aleipata and Afulilo, to collect wind data. The Savaii Wind Resource Assessment, an extension of the Upolu project will see the installation of wind monitoring stations at two locations in Savaii.Solar energyMost parts of Samoa probably receive a daily average of over 5.0 kWh/m² with relatively small seasonal variation, sufficient for water heating and household electricity generation. A solar PV power system was installed on Apolima Island in Samoa in 2006. Samoa has a PV Rural Electrification Programme in progress aiming at providing electricity to non-electrified households.Ocean energy There is very little knowledge of Samoa’s ocean based energy potential, whether ocean temperature gradients, tidal or wave. In the early 1990s Norwegians mapped the wave resource through data buoys moored off Upolu and other islands. In the open sea, annual mean wave power levels were 20-25 kW/m but only 16 kW/m on the coast, which is of more practical significance. Estimates based on satellite measurements suggest the northern shores average 8-9 kW/m.

Energy framework

The Government’s objective is to change Samoa’s reliance on fossil fuels to a low carbon economy by 2020. The Samoan Government endorsed the National Energy Policy in 2007. It encourages the use of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, coconut oil, hydro and energy from wastes.In the Strategy for the Development of Samoa 2012-2016, increased investment in RES appears as a key strategic outcome with specific areas to work on:1. Promote and increase RE investment and generation;2. Efficient, affordable and reliable electricity supply;3. Effective management of petroleum supply;4. Promote energy efficiency practices in all sectors particularly the transport sector; and5. Efficient and effective coordination and management of the sector through the implementation of the energy sector plan.The indicators for Samoa’ sustainable energy supply according to the Strategy will be:1. Gradual phasing out of fossil fuels;2.To increase the contribution of RE for energy services and supply by 8% over the 4 year  planning horizon;3. Complete and implement energy sector plan;4. Energy regulatory functions established;The Strategy also regards energy efficiency practices throughout the country as imperative to enhance public awareness and understanding of the importance of conserving energy and its efficient use, for the most part in the transport sector. According to the Strategy: “transport is vital to the social and economic development of Samoa, therefore it is important to promote energy efficiency practices, particularly with the increasing petroleum prices. Other energy efficient good practices in the transport sector include the use of public transport, carpooling, and use of bicycles”.The increase and variance in energy demand, with the high associated costs, has highlighted the need for a comprehensive framework to guide and manage the growing energy sector. The first Samoa National Energy Policy 2007 (SNEP) is intended to provide a clear direction for all energy developments in Samoa. The SNEP vision is “to enhance the quality of life for all through access to reliable, affordable and environmentally sound energy services and supply”. In support of the energy sector vision, the overarching goal is “to increase the share and contribution of renewable energy in mass production and energy services and supply by 20%, by the year 2030”.This goal will be achieved through the successful implementation of strategies in five areas: Energy Planning and Management, Petroleum, Electricity, Transport and Renewable Energy. The strategic interventions in these areas will address the dimensions of energy efficiency and conservation, the environmental and social aspects, the building of human and institutional capacity, capital resource constraints, the legal framework, and the promotion and dissemination of information. Coconut Oil (CNO)/Biofuel projectThe EPC has been trialing the use of CNO biofuel to substitute diesel for electricity generation since 2008. The initial setup of a 2% CNO to a 98% diesel blend has been increased to a 5% CNO to 95% diesel blend. Blending trials are continuing and CNO is currently being procured from two local CNO producers.The EPC plans to expand its renewable energy portfolio through the installation of a US$4 million 400kWp grid connected solar PV system in 2012 through the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) funding with a feasibility study to be funded under the Pacific Islands Greenhouse Gas Abatement through Renewable Energy (PIGGAREP) with an estimated amount of about US$60,000.The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) is midway through the tendering process for a 500kW biomass gasification pilot plant which is planned to be installed in 2012.Crops Division constructed a 10,000 litre biogas digester under the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in 2010 as a pilot project. The Crops Division is interested in further developing a design that could utilize local materials to bring the cost of constructing a suitable biogas digester size to an affordable price for replication in Samoa.The ADB’s Pacific Approach 2010-2014 was approved in November 2009 and includes operational priorities such as energy. ADB’s country partnership strategy 2008-2012 for Samoa and Country Operations Business Plan 2012-2014 share the focus.In response to the keen interest in and assigned high priority to reducing consumption of fossil fuels, expressed by five Pacific developing counties including Samoa, the ADB approved regional technical assistance for Promoting Energy Efficiency in the Pacific (Phase 2) to provide preliminary assistance to reduce fossil fuel consumption in these five countries through demand-side energy efficiency assessment. The Promoting Energy Efficiency in the Pacific (Phase 2) is implemented over a 4-year period between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2015. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is the responsible agency for Samoa.GHG Abatement through Energy Efficiency in the Land Transport Sector project, supported by the International Union for Conservation for Nature (IUCN) has been implemented between 2009 and 2011. It is a a multi sector project involving land transport, power utility and the Samoa Research and Development Institute, and focuses on reducing GHG emissions in the land transport sector by strengthening energy efficiency in motorised transport operations; promotion of non-motorised transport; and the development of bio-fuels to replace or reduce imports of refined petroleum fuel. Through this project, production of coconut biodiesel has been tested for use in the transportationIn the related area of climate change and disaster management, the government implements the Disaster Management Act 2007 through programmes and projects to enable Samoa to make significant greenhouse gas reductions and natural and cultural disaster readiness. These will address renewable energy use, energy efficiencies, sustainable transport and public awareness of the importance of greenhouse gas abatement.

Source
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  • Urban Poor, Video narrated by Angélique Kidjo, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador

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    Although urban centers are often ill-prepared to meet the basic needs of rapidly expanding populations, the urban poor are incredibly resourceful people, with their own networks and the proven capacity to save and invest in the betterment of their communities. Climate change can stimulate action that improves and transforms the most vulnerable urban communities.

  • Shaping climate resilient development

    Type: 
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    This paper presents an assessment of climate risks from the existing climate as well as from a range of scenarios. It assesses the expected annual loss to economies from existing climate patterns, a projection of the extent to which future economic growth will put greater value at risk, and the incremental loss that could occur over a twenty-year period under a range of climate change scenarios based on the latest scientific knowledge.

  • Guidelines for Climate Proofing Investment in Agriculture, Rural Development and Food Security

    Type: 
    Publication
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    Objective:

    This report aims to present a step-by-step methodological approach to assist project teams to assess and incorporate climate change adaptation measures into agriculture, rural development and food security investment projects. The report focuses mainly on irrigation infrastructure projects and agriculture production projects.

  • Gender Database for Agriculture and Resource Management Policies in Pacific Island Countries

    Type: 
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    In order to be effective, Women in Development initiatives need to be based on reliable data and area- specific information on gender roles in agricultural production and other contexts. This report calls for better gender-disaggregated information on the Pacific Region, with an emphasis on Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa. For example, agricultural production is being increasingly privatised and export-driven under the World Trade Organization General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

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

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    Lack of access to electricity is seen as a major constraint to economic growth and increased welfare in developing countries. In this report, the authors conducted a review of the evidence that investments in electricity-generating capacity have benefits for poor people, and what factors influence that relationship. The review analyzes a large and diverse range of literature dealing with the poverty impacts of increased generation capacity.

  • Pacific Islands Framework for Action on Climate Change 2006 - 2015

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    Publication
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    In 2007, Pacific Islands Leaders called on the international community to reach agreement urgently on an effective global response to avoid dangerous levels of interference with the climate system, including further commitments in the future by all major greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters to reduce emissions; and to increase and mobilise financial and technical resources to support adaptation efforts in vulnerable developing countries.

  • Pacific Climate Change Portal

    Type: 
    Publication
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    Objective:

    This website provides a sharing platform for institutions and governments in the Pacific. It is intended to improve understanding of climate change issues in the region and to leverage more climate change initiatives and innovation in Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs). Target audiences are PICTs, regional stakeholders and development partners. It covers themes of adaptation, mitigation, governance, education and cooperation. It provides a variety of resources and country profiles for countries in the region.

  • Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change

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    This website is the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) programme, partnership of several regional agencies, national agencies and communities in 14 Pacific island countries. Each country hosts a pilot project in a thematic area to demonstrate how climate change adaptation can work on the ground. The PACC programme promotes mainstreaming at all policy levels. Knowledge it generates is intended to serve as the basis for future climate change adaptation in the region.

  • Environmental and social safeguards (EoD)

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    Objective:

    This report reviews existing environmental, social and climate safeguard systems developed and adopted by multilateral and bilateral development agencies. The aim of the report is to assess the potential for the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to adopt or rely on these systems. This will help guide the application of DFID’s new SMART rules, which include a commitment to ensuring sustainability and resilience, and to avoid doing harm such as creating or exacerbating resource scarcity, climate change and/or environmental damage.

  • Priority Adaptations to Climate Change for Pacific Fisheries and Aquaculture

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    Publication
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    These proceedings present the outcome of the workshop "Priority Adaptations to Climate Change for Pacific Fisheries and Aquaculture: Reducing Risks and Capitalizing on Opportunities." The workshop was hosted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Noumea, New Caledonia, on 5-8 June 2012. It was a special workshop for the SPC heads of fisheries jointly organized by FAO and the SPC.