As the Pacific developing member countries (DMCs) battle multiple development challenges, progress is hampered by a significant obstruction – access to clean, reliable and affordable energy. In the Pacific region, where electricity supply remains dominated by diesel-based generation, all nations are struggling to meet their own energy security objectives, as well as their Paris Agreement commitments and Nationally Determined Contributions.
Despite the availability of cost-competitive renewable energy and the rationale for massively scaling this up, multiple systemic challenges are obstructing progress:
- The Pacific developing member countries (DMCs) have limited borrowing and debt servicing capacity, forcing reliance on grant funding for capital intensive energy projects.
- The energy sector in the Pacific DMCs remains heavily controlled by state-owned utilities with inherent operational inefficiencies, chronic liquidity deficits, and limited capital resources for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
- Existing grant funding has not leveraged private sector participation in renewable energy development.
- High upfront capital costs and institutional inertia limit competition and private capital mobilization.
This region has a unique opportunity to come together to solve these issues, and in doing so, make significant progress in helping those least responsible and most vulnerable.
Along with increasing understanding of the scale and nature of the challenges, the session focused on the major bottlenecks and drive action to address them. The session provided the groundwork and imperative for the global community to work together to enable the design of transformative approaches and define a new generation of systems and business models for the new normal in the Pacific region.