An off-grid project utilises organic waste to generate biogas, hence decreasing greenhouse emissions in Vanuatu

With an aim to transition from diesel-generated electricity to about 100% renewable energy for electricity production in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), the Vanuatu government launched the installation of a biogas system in Matevulu College in Santos Island on 30 June 2022. 

In conjunction with the Vanuatu Ministry of Climate Change, the Regional Pacific NDC Hub through its implementing partner SPREP and the Irish Government supported the scale-up of this off-grid project that utilises organic waste such as green waste and food scraps to generate biogas, hence decreasing the reliance on firewood and fuel for cooking, along with greenhouse emissions. 

Speaking at the launch yesterday, Vanuatu’s Acting Minister for Climate Change, Meteorology, Geo Hazards, Environment, Energy and Disaster Management Honourable Johnny Koanapo said setting up of the Bio-Gas projects has been a milestone achievement in helping the nation reduce its Green House Gas emissions at the national level.  

“Benefits of this Biogasas project are twofold with ripple effects – while reducing Green House Gas emissions, the project is also addressing the issue of waste management at Matevulu College; on a capacity-building level, over 700 students studying at Matevulu College will witness the positive impacts of shifting to renewable energy firsthand,” Koanapo said. 

“This is an impact that cannot directly be quantified, but is one that I trust, will go a long way, in educating the people of Vanuatu about the possibilities of shifting to renewable energy, reducing Green House Gas emissions, saving much-needed funds, and contributing to achieving the ambitious targets set out in the government’s long term energy goals.” 

Koanopo thanked the efforts by the development partners in supporting the line ministries in implementing the Green House Gas reduction imitative in direct collaboration with the Matevulu College School and Administration.

“The importance of renewable energy is far from being limited by climate change considerations, during the last decade climate change has become a major driver for the integration of renewables into national energy supply systems. Given the urgency of the problem, it is essential that this process will continue,” he added. 

The Regional Pacific NDC Hub Technical Advisor Vanda Fa’asoa-Chan Ting said that the efforts of the Matevulu College and Saint Patric’s College including the Vanuatu Department of Climate Change and installation consultants, the Innovative Aquaculture is to be commended.  

“This project serves many purposes – not only does it provide the perfect example to students on how waste can be converted into clean energy, but it also demonstrates to students simple ways that they can employ to look after the environment and take care of it because not only do biogas systems break down decayed organic matter within closed systems in the absence of oxygen, but they also give off naturally organic fertilizers which can be used to revitalize soil health for vegetable gardens and crops,” Fa’asoa Chan Ting said. 

Vanuatu has a sector-specific target of transitioning to close to 100% renewable energy in the electricity sector by 2030. Goal is to reduce Business as Usual (BAU) emissions in the electricity sub-sector by 100% and in the energy sector as a whole by 30 percent. 

Vanuatu submitted their Intended nationally determined contributions (INDC) to the UNFCCC Secretariat on the 29th of September 2015. No further revisions were undertaken, and the same document was endorsed and submitted as the First nationally determined contributions on 21st September 2016. 

The Regional Pacific NDC Hub is administered by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and implemented in partnership with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), the Pacific Community – SPC, and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

This story was originally published at Pacific Nationally Determined Contribution Hub by Priya Chand on 30 June 2022, reposted via PACNEWS.

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