PNG has abundant sources of energy, both renewable and non-renewable, however only a small percentage has access to modern forms of energy (electricity, transport fuels, heat, etc.). For example only about 12-13% of PNG households have access to electricity. Energy access is critical to the socioeconomic development of any country and therefore the lack of, has been credited as one of the major reasons why PNG has progressed slowly since independence. The current UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), now directly states in goal 7 that all countries strive to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
On top of the need for greater accessibility to modern forms of energy, PNG has a pristine flora and fauna that must be preserved.
In addition, planet-earth’s current greatest threat- “Global Warming”, this is caused by excessive amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere released mainly by fossil-fuel energy systems. Therefore the best option to meet the modern energy need and protect planet earth is to increase the uptake of renewable energy sources and decrease energy consumption by using energy efficient/conservation strategies.
The government of PNG realises this need for clean, reliable and affordable energy. They have addressed this issue through varies policies such as the Electricity Industry Policy, National Strategy for Responsible Sustainable Development for PNG and Climate Change Policy; and through plans such as National Electrification Roll-out Plan, Medium Term Development Plan 1&2, Development Strategic Implementation Plan 2010-2030 and the overarching PNG Vision 2050. Globally this issue has been raised by the United Nations through initiatives such as the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL-2014-2024), the Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030), and the recent UNFCC-COP Paris Agreement. However one of the major issues in addressing this need in PNG, has been the capacity to implement the various strategies.
Therefore this Centre aims to increase awareness, training and research activities to encourage the uptake of renewable energy and the use of energy efficient strategies. This will be archived through partnerships with relevant government actors, private sector, NGOs’ and donors.