Pacific Islands Energy Policy and Strategic Action Planning (PIEPSAP)
BEST PRACTICE IN:
Secretariat of the Pacific Geoscience Commission (SOPAC)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Samoa Office
Government of Denmark under European Union Energy Initative and UNDP Thematic Trust Fund "Energy for Sustainable Development"
PIEPSAP has significantly contributed to the creation of knowledge concerning energy resources and the potential for developing these resources in the partner countries. However, it is difficult to determine whether its inputs for promoting energy efficiency, renewable energies and better energy sector management were critical or not.
PIEPSAP invested considerable resources to analyse the critical energy sector issues in the individual countries. It also identified constraints and possibilities for developing the energy sector nationally. The lack of fossil fuel energy resources in most PICs and the critical need for energy has led to significant vulnerabilities in the Pacific. Threats to energy security include the political instability of several energy producing countries, the manipulation of energy supplies, the competition over scarce energy sources, as well as accidents and natural disasters. Most of the oil and gas is located in parts of the world characterised by conflict and political instability, or with significant potential for both.
The project aims to help in the development of national energy policies, strategic action plans, and practical mechanisms to implement these in the 14 participating PICs.
The establishment of national energy policies, plans and mechanisms which will influence national efforts toward achieving reliable, affordable, and environmentally sound energy for sustainable development of the Pacific ACP Countries
• National energy policies have been developed and endorsed at the Cabinet level A national Energy Policy Framework (NEP) represents the government’s vision for the development of its national energy sector over a certain time-frame. It specifies briefly and precisely the government’s goals and policies for the planning and management of each of the sub-sectors.
• Practical national strategic action plan to implement the policies has been adopted and integrated into the government budgetary process All countries that opted for policy development also included strategic action planning into their work programmes with PIEPSAP. The resulting strategies typically link directly with the policy statements and describe the resources and inputs needed to implement policies. While all the eight strategies have been endorsed at the Cabinet level, firm integration into budgetary processes is only emerging.
• Practical mechanisms to implement the action plans have been developed and adopted at national level PIEPSAP has assisted ACP countries in establishing practical energy sector management mechanisms in a variety of areas, including tariff adjustment; MIS/GIS-based asset management tools for power utilities, regulation mechanisms and regulatory frameworks, comprehensive resource assessment and project development mechanisms.
• There is an increased visibility and understanding of key energy issues at regional and national levels A key element of PIPSAP’s approach is to actively promote knowledge management, seek to establish cooperation and exchange of information across networks in the region and push energy issues into the public domain. Increased visibility of energy issues has been achieved through numerous publications, media events (interviews, newspaper articles), market surveys, and through mailing lists and other networking activities.
• Opportunities for reliable, affordable and environmentally sound energy sector investments and other follow-ups within the PIC’s identified From its inception to the end of the project PIEPSAP has aimed to maintain a strong link between policy and strategy and actual project development and energy sector investment planning. As neither SOPAC nor the PIEPSAP project itself had the resources to follow planning through to actual investment that has been mostly realised through a very close cooperation with those initiatives that have resources to finance investment.
A sound impact is achieved if the project’s intervention can be directly linked to an improvement in energy supply in the region. In assessing overarching development impact of PIEPSAP, it is important to distinguish between two different levels. Firstly, there is the impact of resource assessment and capacity building with respect to the countries’ capability to perform high quality, integrated resource planning for their energy sector. When a good understanding of the renewable energy resource situation and the technology involved in its utilisation has been developed, it can be assumed that better planning performance and consequently better investment decisions are being achieved. In this respect PIEPSAP has had and continues to have a positive impact on the quality of energy sector planning.
In line with PIEPSAP’s flexible “Menu of Options” approach, the project has helped the participating countries to develop a diverse portfolio of initiatives ranging from national energy policy frameworks and strategic planning to regulatory reforms and project development. Approach and level of activity within the country programmes varied and were determined by country requests, contribution and ownership and PIEPSAP’s policy to ensure a fair and equitable allocation of project resources among all 14 Pacific ACP countries. Multidisciplinary organisations such as SOPAC hold the potential for substantial synergies when cross-departmental co-operation can be established. PIEPSAP succeeded in mobilising considerable potential within SOPAC through in-depth dialogue with other units such as water, risk management and ICT. Cooperative efforts between PIEPSAP and the community risk unit have resulted in the creation of a sophisticated knowledge management tool modelled along the lines of the Pacific Disaster Network.
UNDP Pacific Centre
Level 7, Kadavu House,
414 Victoria Parade,
Suva, Fiji Islands
Tel: +679 330 0399
Fax: +679 330 1976