ADB, Strategic Climate Fund, and New Zealand Boost Kiribati’s Access to Clean Energy

New Delhi: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $14.7 million project to improve access to clean, reliable, and climate-resilient energy in Kiribati.

The financing for the South Tarawa Renewable Energy Project comes from the Pacific Renewable Energy Investment Facility, which was founded in 2017 to finance renewable energy projects and sector reform in the smallest 11 Pacific island countries. The facility supports target countries like Kiribati to transform their diesel-power systems to sustainable, renewable energy generation sources.

“The project is ADB’s first intervention into Kiribati’s energy sector and involves new technologies, incorporates much-needed sector reform, and will be delivered through innovative approaches to ensure sustainability,” said ADB Principal Energy Specialist for the Pacific Cindy Tiangco.

The project is financed by $8 million from ADB’s Asian Development Fund, $3.7 million from the Strategic Climate Fund, $2 million from the Government of New Zealand, and $1 million from the Government of Kiribati.

The project will collaborate with the South Tarawa Water Supply Project supported by ADB, the Green Climate Fund, and the World Bank. This means the renewable energy system of the water supply project and the renewable energy project will be procured jointly—ADB’s first-ever joint procurement under two separate projects from different sectors. This approach will achieve value for money and ensures consistent design and faster construction.

The South Tarawa Renewable Energy Project will install climate-resilient solar photovoltaic, battery energy storage, and modern control systems. It will also focus on attracting further investment in renewable energy and target the private sector. The project aims to strengthen the capacity of the Public Utilities Board and reduce the reliance on fossil fuels, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the cost of power generation.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.