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Samoa launches Low Emissions Development Strategy 2021 – 2030

By Talaia Mika

APIA, SAMOA – 12 OCTOBER 2022: The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has launched its’ “Low Emissions Development Strategy 2021-2030” with a target of 70% Renewable Energy use by the end of 2031.

The purpose of the strategy is to review the existing/outdated Greenhouse Gas Abatement Strategy 2008-2018 and other relevant sectoral policies and strategies to identify what was achieved and what other measures could be implemented in various sectors to further reduce GHG emissions for Samoa.

The Minister of MNRE, Toesulusulu Cedric Schuster highlighted that the Strategy articulates strategic innovative actions to accelerate reduction of GHG emissions and increase carbon sinks.

“The success of this strategy is predicated on the collective and all inclusive efforts from everyone. Samoa therefore continues to call for urgent and immediate climate finance to build a climate-resilient future for Samoa, the region and the whole world,” he added.

The LEDS launch coincided with the launch of Samoa’s NCD Implementation Roadmap and Investment Plan 2021 which was postponed due to the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

The nine LEDS strategies comprise: Hydrogen, Pump Storage Hydropower, Battery Storage System, Energy Storage Systems, Smart Grid Infrastructure, Energy Efficiency, Biomass Gasification, Variable Renewable Energy Sources (Wind and Solar), and Hydropower.

LEDS launch group
LEDS launch group

Guests as last nights launch.

EPC recorded a tremendous shift in the deployment and utilization of Renewable Energy Technologies in Samoa and renewable energy’s notable developments will enable Samoa to transform the electricity supply to 70% renewable energy.

According to EPC’s Annual Report 2019-2020, 45% of electricity was generated from renewable energy.

Most of the electricity in Samoa, particularly for the main grid, is generated from diesel, hydro- power and solar power generation stations and a very small amount of electricity is produced from wind energy and biomass resources.

EPC, MNRE and the Ministry of Finance (MoF) have been working in-collaboration to facilitate the implementation of broad-spectrum programs, including harnessing renewable resources for power generation, renewable energy projects for households, industries and commercial applications in urban and rural areas, and the development of alternate fuels and applications.

In 2020, Samoa launched the $11.3 million talā Afolau Biomass Gasification Power plant opposite the Faleolo International Airport, aimed at producing 5 million kWh of electricity annually based on running the 750 kW plant at 85% of its capacity, 90% of the time.

This is the first facility of its kind to be set up in Samoa and the region and will benefit up to 5,000 families on the north-western side of the island of Upolu and will save the country up to 1.2 million litres of diesel per year at $3 million talā.

It will also reduce CO2 emissions by 3.7 tonnes per year.

The shift to renewable energy will reduce the dependency on fossil fuels and shift to cleaner and renewable form of power supply.