February 11, 2016

New Law Encourages Renewable Energy, Reduces Reliance on Fossil Fuel in Palau, Micronesia

A new law signed Friday establishes a regulatory framework for Palau’s energy sector and a concrete commitment of the country to reduce its reliance on fossil fuel and encourage more use of renewable energy sources.

RPPL 9-54 or the Palau Energy Act creates a comprehensive national framework to improve energy security in Palau.

It establishes an Energy Administration that will be tasked with monitoring all energy-related matters in Palau, advising energy-related agencies like the Palau Public Utilities Corporation and the Office of Environmental Response and Coordination on matters of energy sector policy and educating the public on energy-related matters.The new law is also aimed at helping Palau reach its climate change target, and reduce localized pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the law, the Energy Administration will set standards for different categories of renewable energy providers and provide the necessary oversight for independent power producers to develop renewable energy projects.

The Energy Administration will also be responsible for the development of energy efficiency programs in accordance with the objectives of the National Energy Policy.

President Tommy Remengesau, in his transmittal letter to the Palau Congress said in the wake of the resulting agreement reached during the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference, he is pleased to sign the bill.

He said the new law, “not only reaffirms Palau’s commitment to meeting the renewable energy reliance and reduced emission pledges made at COP21, but also provides the means and direction for achieving those important goals.”

The Paris agreement negotiated by nearly 200 nations, including Palau, sets the goal of limiting the world’s rise in average temperature to “well below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

Palau is aiming to lead in renewable energy use in the Pacific with the target of a 45 percent renewable-energy shift by 2025.

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