Samoa announces plans to go 100% renewable by 2017

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Talai Vaifanua, Paris

Dr James Fletcher, Saint Lucia’s Minister for Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology announced Monday that the country plans to transition to using 100% renewable energy by 2017. The announcement was made at a side event held during the UN climate negotiations in Paris.

Solar Head of State, the campaign that has been funding the project will install a donated 10 kilowatt grid connector that is expected to save St. Lucia thousands of dollars in energy costs.

Fletcher said the renewable energy project is an exciting development that will allow vulnerable Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to reduce expenditure and stimulate economic growth.

He said the country has been working to get the project underway for some time.

Officials from Samoa's Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Finance were also present at the event and praised the announcement as a major opportunity to reduce the country's reliance on fossil fuels. Suluimalo Amatago Penaia, Samoa's Environment Minister said next steps were still been decided.

“A date set for the project to start implementing is not yet known as we need to negotiate with Solar Head of State," he said.

Even though Samoa has made significant progress in renewable energy initiatives, most notably seen in recent solar installations in Faleata and Faleolo, more work is required to ensure a smooth transition.

Under current plans, Solar Head of State will roll out the first transition phase on homes of Samoan officials and other government buildings at no cost to the country.

Samoa continues to reiterate its committment to reaching all its renewable energy targets by 2017.