Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
PNG Power with the support of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and donors Australia and New Zealand, has officially launched the first ever trial of rooftop solar power in Papua New Guinea.
The move marks a significant change in policy. Until now, it was illegal for Papua New Guinean businesses to install and generate power from roof top solar panels.
“Now large commercial and industrial businesses in the capital, Port Moresby, can apply to have solar PV systems connected to the grid, under the first phase of the scheme,” said PNG Power’s Acting CEO Mr. Douglas Mageo.
“Solar PV systems have the potential to reduce the cost of power supply in Papua New Guinea and reduce carbon emissions through less reliance on diesel,” Mageo said.
“With Papua New Guinea aiming to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, this pilot scheme in Port Moresby will serve as a test run, so we can carefully manage the technical and commercial impacts on PNG Power’s systems.”
Under the initiative, commercial and industrial businesses in Port Moresby can apply to install panels, on a first come first served basis subject to technical viability. The trial will initially allow about two percent of peak demand in Port Moresby to be generated from rooftop solar.
“Port Moresby is one of the sunniest locations in Papua New Guinea, with about 2,500 hours of sunshine a year,” said IFC’s Resident Representative in Papua New Guinea, John Vivian. “With Papua New Guinea one of the most expensive places in the world for power, it makes sense to use rooftop solar to generate electricity to help meet energy needs and the country’s renewable energy targets”.
IFC has been supporting PNG Power to develop the scheme and prior to the launch of the trial, IFC supported a hands-on training program for PNG power staff on managing the rooftop solar scheme, with further training planned for the future.
The pilot program deals specifically with solar PV systems that are synchronized to PNG Power’s grid and can meet consumer demand, as and when required.
The initiative follows a request by PNG Power for IFC to build on its successful off-grid solar program, Lighting PNG, to help PNG Power’s business customers access a pilot roof top solar program.
Lighting PNG has already helped 22 percent of the population – 1.8 million people - in Papua New Guinea gain access to phone charging and basic solar lighting solutions for the first time.
PNG Power Limited and IFC are also joining forces to deliver lower cost and more reliable power to remote and outer island centres, not connected to the country’s two main electricity grids.
With only about 13 percent of Papua New Guineans currently having access to an electricity grid, Papua New Guinea presents one of the most challenging and underserved energy markets in the world.
Acting Chief Executive Officer
About PNG Power Limited
PNG Power Limited is a fully integrated power utility responsible for generation, transmission, distribution and retailing of electricity throughout Papua New Guinea and servicing individual electricity consumers. PNG Power services customers in almost all urban centres throughout the country encompassing industrial, commercial, government and domestic sectors. Where possible, the services extend to rural communities adjacent to these urban centres.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities where they are needed most. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Papua New Guinea Partnership
IFC’s work in Papua New Guinea is guided by the Papua New Guinea Partnership. Australia, New Zealand and IFC are working together through the Partnership to stimulate private sector investment and reduce poverty in Papua New Guinea.