The installation will be the first of its kind in the Pacific as a national leader takes the personal step to use solar power for their official residence.
The Tongan King will also become the world’s first monarch to use solar power, sending the message that Buckingham Palace should perhaps follow suit.
“We have been tasked by Pacific leaders in their support of the Paris Agreement to pave the paradigm shift to a low carbon future. And Pacific countries and territories have shown interest in this project to facilitate the installation of solar energy infrastructure to power residences of Heads of state and in some cases Parliament buildings across the islands” , said PIDF Secretary General François Martel.
Secretary General Martel said that the installation of panels on the national Leader’s official residence is symbolic of the wider leadership on renewable energy by SIDS, and will serve as physical embodiment of Pacific Leadership’s commitment to fighting climate change.
“Noting the PIDF Leaders’ concerns on the impacts of climate change and their support for the Paris Agreement, renewable energy is playing a key role in shaping the planets long term energy future and is critical to delivering policy goals of secure, clean and affordable energy supplies” he further added.
The Pacific continues to demonstrate strong leadership by virtue of its ambitious renewable energy goals, including Tonga’s aim to reach 50% renewable energy by 2020. This includes a landmark 2MW solar PV system commissioned last month, the largest of its kind in the country.
A statement said the leader of the Tongan Delegation, Paula Ma’u, signed an agreement at the event to work with Solar Head of State and the Pacific Island Development Forum to carry out the installation.
Islands across the world are making headlines for ambitious renewable energy projects. The Pacific nation of Tokelau became the world’s first country to be 100% solar powered in 2012 by launching a pioneering project to ditch its diesel habit and this was 4 years before the Paris Agreement’s pledges.
Photo source PIDF Media.Caption: Leader of the Tongan Delegation, Paula Ma’u, signs an agreement to work with Solar Head of State and the Pacific Island Development Forum