The Solomon Islands Government, through the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, has joined forces with the UN Development Programme to develop the SPIRES project website, aiming to promote rural electricity, clean and renewable energy.
The Stimulating Progress Towards Improved Rural Electrification in Solomon Islands Project was recently launched with the goal of improving Rural Electricity in Solomon Islands rural areas by using Renewable Energy Methods while reducing Green House Gas Emissions simultaneously.
Providing renewable energy (RE) to rural communities of Solomon Islands remains one of the biggest challenges most communities face.
The website https://spires.gov.sb will serve as the communication bridge and an information gateway on the activities that are being undertaken by the Project and its partners. It also offers an opportunity for the public and beneficiaries to track progress and ensure full transparency in the utilization of project human and financial resources as it works to increase access to renewable energy in the selected locations.
Speaking about rural electrification, Dr. Chris Vehe, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification noted that “access to energy [for Solomon Islanders] is not just about enhancing economic productivity, but more an enabler of long-term society-wide benefits, ranging from reducing poverty and improving health to enhancing educational opportunities.”
“As we move towards a more digitized community, access to energy remains crucial for both individual well-being and national economic development. The Ministry’s priority is to improve barriers standing in the way of promoting Renewable Energy in the rural areas by implementing projects such as SPIRES,” Dr. Vehe added.
Reiterating UNDP’s commitment to supporting Solomon Islands to make access to sustainable and renewable energy accessible to all, Mr Berdi Berdiyev, UNDP Country Manager for Solomon Islands highlighted that the partnership between SPIRES and UNDP helps make progress towards SDG 7, with encouraging signs that energy is becoming more sustainable and widely available in the Solomons.
“By building solar panels as a pathway of a change framework, the Project is fully embedded in national development goals. Green energy is one of the most important inputs for economic growth and human development, and we must ensure everyone has access to it.”
The SPIRES project is being implemented by the Ministry of Mines, Energy & Rural Electrification under its Energy division with financial support from the Global Environmental Facility through the UN Development Programme.