Solar Association: Focus On Green Energy

by PNG Business News - June 13, 2022

Photo credit: Reve

According to the Solar Energy Association of PNG, foreign investments in the energy industry are now focusing on green energy, but the country's institutional frameworks are insufficient to take advantage of the prospects.

President Christian Lohberger said: “PNG was one of the first countries to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change and under our national commitments, we have set a target of the electricity sector being 78 per cent renewable by 2030.

“Currently, we are less than 50 per cent renewable and have a growing LNG industry.

“So we need to develop a pipeline of hydro, solar and eventually wind projects.

“Happily, these are also cheap and (in the case of solar) very fast to build.”

According to Lohberger, the LNG business presently dominates the PNG energy sector, although LNG is extremely expensive to acquire (or not export) owing to the Ukraine conflict.

“LNG is also very polluting with huge methane and carbon dioxide emissions that destroy our environment,” he said.

“It is difficult to see LNG competing with solar and other renewables from a price perspective, particularly if a carbon price is adopted.

“Our major trading partners are all adopting carbon prices and this will pressure us to clean up emissions.

“Europe and China already have active carbon prices with the US having a tax credit that effectively works the same way as a carbon price.

“Australia once had a very successful carbon price but it was removed for political reasons.

“Looking forward a few years, the most likely scenario is a grid that is almost entirely powered by solar and wind with hydro for backup on rainy and windless days.

“LNG might be useful for extreme situations a few times a year when demand cannot be met.”

 

Reference: Luma, Dale. The National (8 June 2022). “Association: Focus on green energy”



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