24th PPA Conference Communique

 Pacific Power Association 24th Annual Conference Communiqué

  1.  The Members of the Pacific Power Association met together in Majuro, Republic of Marshall Islands, for their 24th Annual Conference from 13 – 17 July 2015 hosted by the Marshalls Energy Company.
  2.  One hundred and eighty two (182) delegates representing utilities, private businesses, development partners, international and regional organizations attended the conference. (A list of the organizations that attended the conference is attached).
  3.  The theme of the conference “Power Supply Challenges” recognizes the changing environment that utilities have to operate in and that it is no longer just technical and financial challenges that utilities have to overcome. Utilities are now required to consider other issues such as the environment, social responsibility and work with other stakeholders.
  4.  The Governments of the Pacific Islands have set renewable energy and energy efficiency targets that are to be met by specified deadlines as commitments to climate change and greenhouse gas reduction. For the majority of these Governments, the utilities are implementers.
  5.  The President of the Republic of Marshall Islands, HE Christopher J. Loek officially opened the conference, which was also attended by the Presidents of the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau and the Minister of Public Enterprise of the Kingdom of Tonga.
  6.  His Excellency reminded delegates of the recognition of the PIC leaders that access to sustainable and quality electricity supply as the key requirement for sustainable development in terms of social and economic development and environment sustainability, which is reflected in the Framework for Regionalism, and the Millennium Development Goals.
  7.  His Excellency also highlighted the need for integrating energy plans into the national planning process looking at least cost energy options encompassing both renewable energy and energy efficiency. The need for high level government commitment and support is essential in this regard.
  8.  The challenges to supply energy to our people needs to be addressed at the local, national and regional level through appropriate regulatory and policy mechanisms to contribute to the global efforts to mitigate climate change.
  9.  In his Keynote Address Mr. Stuart Calman, Acting Director of Sustainable Development of NZMFAT, asserted that the utilities, the private sector, development partners and governments all have a mission to provide modern electricity services to our communities. To do that means balancing many things and considering the trade-offs between goals and targets and their impact on price, security of supply, the environment and expanding access.
  10.  There are some basic tools that can be used to help us such as: environmental and social impact assessment, least cost generation plans and benchmarking. The need for increased investment can be met, with the right rules, through a greater role for the private sector. No single business model will be a panacea for all countries and utilities, each will have to be adaptive and carve its own a path to success. The PRIF and other development partners can also help with achieving your goals.
  11.  To date, the rapid progress in our region is the envy of many other small island developing states.  It’s been the commitment of the stakeholders with a desire to work together that have been the key ingredients.   It is prove that when utilities, governments and like-minded partners work together we will achieve long-term success and a sustainable energy future for islands.
  12.  A two-day trade exhibition by 31 Allied Members of the Association showcased the latest in goods and services for the renewable and conventional energy market as well as transmission and distribution equipment.
  13.  A series of papers covering photovoltaic technology, renewable energy integration, new power generation technology, utility operational philosophy, energy storage, achieving 100% renewable energy, wind technology and strategic planning were presented at the conference.
  14.  A two-day benchmarking workshop was also held for the utility benchmarking personnel, which was attended by more than 25 delegates from 18 utilities.
  15.  The PPA Board at its meeting reiterated its commitment to the continuation of the Regional Power Utility Benchmarking Project to ensure its sustainability. The PPA Board recognizes its usefulness as a planning tool for the utilities and will continue to hold workshops for utility staff.
  16.  The PPA Board at its meeting also agreed to set up a Disaster Response Fund to assist member utilities in response and recovery when natural disasters occur.
  17.  The PPA Board also resolved to set up a working committee to look into the issue of Governance in terms of its  Utility Board Directors and the PPA Board with a view to establishing guidelines on governance as it applies in the Pacific.
  18.  The PPA Board accepted Tonga Power Ltd.’s proposal that the Pacific Power Association’s 25th Annual Conference will be held in Nuku’alofa, the Kingdom of Tonga, hosted by Tonga Power Ltd in 2016.
  19.  The PPA Members, Board and Secretariat express their sincere appreciation to Marshall Energy Company, the Government and the people of the Republic of Marshall Islands for hosting the 24th Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition.