IFC encourages adoption of solar power in Pacific

RNZ reports the International Finance Corporation is partnering with a private company to encourage Pacific Island nations to use more renewable energy, especially solar power.

The Pacific has some of the most expensive electricity prices in the world with much of its energy coming from diesel.

The IFC and the Australian-based company, Smart Commercial Solar, will launch its project by offering a free energy report to Pacific businesses calculating how much they can save if they switch to solar.

The IFC's spokesperson, Subrata Barman, said it's time for Pacific nations to look at moving away from traditional models of power supply.

"Out of 10 million people who are there in the Pacific, the majority of them being in PNG [Papua New Guinea], almost 75 percent of the people don't have access to electricity."

"So there's a big issue around how do you promote access to electricity and then how do you promote access to clean energy?"

Solar panel prices have fallen dramatically and it is now a much more viable option, Mr Barman said.

The Australian and New Zealand governments work with the IFC, as part of the Pacific Partnership, to stimulate private sector investment and reduce poverty in the Pacific.