Sunday, 8 July 2007 10:47 AM

Donors Assist in Renewable Energy Project

AusAid and the European Union will be jointly funding a renewable energy project through the Central Bank of Solomon Islands and partner banks.

The Governor of the Central Bank, Rick Hou, stated that more than 12 million US dollars is being provided for this project.

Speaking to the SIBC, Mr Hou said the money will be used to buy solar power equipments and to meet the cost of installment of the equipment. Mr Hou says the cost of a solar power unit which consists of a battery, a panel, three bulbs and wiring would be about seven-thousand dollars.

"Solar equipment is costly, but the running cost is cheap. In some cases not much cost for a number of years, unless the battery is down and you have to replace it," said Hou. "But compare that to the cost of kerosene which the majority of our population rely on, kerosene is expensive."

Mr Hou says this fund is for those in the rural areas and can be obtained through the ANZ Bank, which is the project's partner bank through normal commercial transactions.