NEA conducts 2nd consultation of Decentralised Electricity Supply Policy Workshop

By: Miriam Mandibi March 18, 2024

Participants of the second consultation Workshop of the Decentralised Electricity Supply Policy

The National Energy Authority (NEA) conducted a one day public/stakeholders consultation workshop for the second time at the Holiday Inn ballroom on the 15th of March on the Decentralised Electricity Supply (DES) Policy.

This policy will pave the way for the provincial and district administration to develop and participate in the generation, distribution, and retail aspects of PNG's electricity supply industry.

The DES Policy is an important intervention policy initiated by the Economic Regulation Division of the NEA to address the unstable supply of electricity to towns outside the three main grids in PNG, technically referred to as C-centres.

The policy discussions held during the workshop included the Provincial Administrators, District Administrators, financiers/developers, policy experts, engineers, and other relevant experts.

NEA Managing Director Mr. Ronald Meketa opened the workshop and welcomed all the stakeholders, as experts in the field of electricity and policy makers engaged in meaningful discussions in creating affordable and reliable electricity to the underlying challenges faced in Papua New Guinea.

He thanked all stakeholders who have worked alongside NEA in providing technical advice on formulating its policy, such as USAID Papua New Guinea Electricity Partnership (PEP), PNG Power Limited, Solar Energy Association of Papua New Guinea, Asian Development Bank, and others.

"PNG is yet to develop the electricity industry, and we are working towards it as a regulator. Some of the key specific policies such as hydro are yet to be drafted, including 21 others. Under the Connect PNG initiative undertaken by the government through road projects, there is also a need for supply of electricity connecting the rural and remote communities," said Mr. Meketa.

Giving a detailed presentation on the DES Policy was Ms. Bayking Juliette of USAID PEP, with her team giving an overview of the policy.

The DES Policy would allow third parties to participate in their municipal jurisdiction, provide policy guidelines to accommodate the growing demand from stable supply of electricity in provinces and districts, and ultimately ensure accessible, reliable and affordable electricity for these C-centres to meet their respective local demand.

"The energy gap is one of the biggest hurdles faced by the GoPNG, businesses, and civic society, and therefore as the responsible government agency, the NEA is seriously looking at such policy intervention to unbundle the monopolistic arrangement incompatible for PNG electricity industry today," the agency said.

The workshop ended with a brainstorming session with the respective provincial administration and district administration officials on the DES Policy.

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