HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 601: 01 February 2012

Renewable energy project: Phase 2 begins
We got the energy efficient light bulbs in phase 1, now under phase 2 of the Asia Development Bank’s renewable energy programme, we begin a three year quest to implement a significant energy saving project.

An Energy Consultant from Thailand, Felix Gooneratne, is in the Cook Islands as Phase 2 of an Asia Development Bank (ADB) project relating to renewable energy gets underway.
Phase 2 is a three year phase to assist the Cook Islands achieve the implementation of a large scale project which brings significant energy savings.
Felix is Asia Director for IIEC-International Institute for Energy Conservation, based in Bangkok, Thailand. The Institute won the ADB tender for Phase 2. The Institute then sought consultants to progress Phase 2 in five Pacific Countries. Felix is here to work with Terekino (Tino) Vaireka who has been appointed National project Coordinator to conduct Phase 2 in the Cook Islands. Tino will be based at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Felix told the Herald on Tuesday morning that five years ago, the Cook Islands was one of just five countries to register an expression of interest with the ADB in adopting renewable energy.
The other countries were; PNG, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.
Phase 1, which was a regional Technical Assistance project run in cooperation with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Government of Australia, promoted Energy Efficiency in the Pacific (PEEP). The project was conducted under GEF’s Pacific Alliance for Sustainability. Phase 1, began in September 2008 and ended in May 2011 and focused on promoting energy efficiency. Funding was by GEF and the emphasis was on climate change.
Phase 1 laid the foundation for small scale pilot programmes. In the Cook Islands energy saving light bulbs were piloted.
Felix said he will be trying to evaluate the effectiveness of that pilot programme. Government does not have a comprehensive report so he will be talking to retailers as to the effectiveness of the programme.
He has learnt that power quality has been an issue with the new light bulbs. He said there are now bulbs with a wide voltage tolerance so power surges will not affect them as much. He spoke of the need to ensure technologies are relevant and acceptable.
Felix explained that Phase 2 (the implementation Phase) actually began last November. The tender went world-wide with five companies expressing interest. IIEC won the tender and set about appointing five full time consultants to work for the next 3 years in the five countries taking part in the ADB programme.
Felix himself has two roles. Firstly, he is the designated energy efficiency expert for the Cook Islands. Secondly, he has a management role with contracted responsibilities with the ADB.
As mentioned, Phase 2 is over three years and will focus on implementation.
Phase 2 has four outputs;
1: Development of Energy Use Database
2: Development of Energy Efficiency Policies and Procedures
3: Implementation of Energy Efficiency Programs
4: Information Dissemination and Public Awareness
The expected results of Phase 2 include the following:
 An established energy database in the five PDMCs with provision for expansion to other PDMCs
 National energy policies with established practical and implementable Energy Efficient (EE) targets
 Established government policies and procedures for use of EE appliances, incorporation of EE best practices in building codes, and capacity building of service providers
 Large-scale implementation of EE projects in residential, commercial and government sectors and in public lighting (street-lighting and traffic lights).
 Comprehensive information dissemination program for all stakeholders
 Leveraging other regional energy programs to maximize benefits to all PDMCs

At the end of the three year period, Felix hopes to achieve the implementation of a large scale project which brings significant energy savings to the Cook Islands. It must also be a project which can be replicated elsewhere.
Felix plans to meet with tourist resort owners to interest them in the project. An initial energy audit would be carried out to show where major savings can be achieved and the costs. International experts would then be brought in to conduct an “Investment Grade Audit.” The actual costs would be estimated and a report presented to the Resort company.
On the topic of Investment Grade Audits, Felix believes the information on cash flows and return on investment, would be of interest to banks. Felix said he plans to talk to financial institutions to show them that energy efficiency could be a new product for them. He also plans to discuss training sessions for financial institutions.
Felix said the GEF had allocated $2.4 million for implementation across the five countries and that these allocations were based on the nature of the project not the size of the country.
Felix will be in Rarotonga until 15 February. -Charles Pitt

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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