Letter to the Editor: Tuilaepa on Grid Market Role and Renewable Energy

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Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi delivery his keynote address at the Handover Ceremony.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi delivery his keynote address at the Handover Ceremony.

HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION PARTY

PETESA – BEACH ROAD MULINU’U – 4th March, 2023

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Public Interest over Personal Interest

Decisions by those with vested interest do not often produce the best results for those intended to benefit from the expected outcomes.

Consider for instance the current controversy on Grid Market’s recommended producer of cheaper renewable energy for Samoa out of 24 Companies that showed interest.

The selected company EDF-R proposes to produce the balance of the Renewable Energy needed by Samoa by 2025 estimated at 83.5 gwh per annum saving up to $36 million tālā p.a. on electricity produced from Fossil Fuel.

Up to 50% reduction of electricity cost to the consumer is estimated if this project goes ahead!

Grid Market is a highly reputable company recommended by the UN through our Ambassador Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia in New York.

Grid market is not a middleman as Laauli and Olo publicly referred to it as such.

By definition a “middleman” is someone who buys a machine etc, at a low price, then resells it at a higher price.

A producer is not a middleman

Grid Market is an organization of highly skilled experts in all aspects of Renewable Energy and financing, whom we engaged to critically analyse applications by interested producers and advise the Government accordingly of the best Tender to consider.

Interest in Renewable Energy began with Climate Change.

And the Pacific Island Nations, including Samoa, were in the forefront of the fight against Climate Change and the related sea level rise.

Small Islands will be the first to sink under the ocean.

To stop Climate Change, World Leaders must try with courage to confine the temperature rise to 1.5°C by the year 2100.

Today the temperature rise is over 2% already.

Therefore, the priority of small Islands is to stop the use of fossil fuel and let us prioritise Renewable Energy.

Samoa was the first Pacific Island Nation to remove the monopoly from EPC as the sole authority to produce electricity.

The purpose was to attract other producers of Renewable Energy to come to Samoa and compete in Renewable Energy production and sell it to EPC for re-distribution to consumers.

Two major conferences sponsored by Multilateral Agencies on Renewable Energy were held in Tonga and New Zealand for the purpose of promoting Renewable Energy in the Islands.

The question posed by Samoa in both meetings was whether any system existed to readily identify the best and cheapest producer.

The only answer was, each Country needs to find its own solution the hard way.

Renewable Energy was a new idea and the technology could change quickly.

Yet contracts submitted for fixed prices tended to be Long Term and no government wanted to be caught for short sightedness.

This is why our first batch of producers were considered pricey.

Grid Market was the solution we have been looking for.

Green Power, favoured by the Minister of Works, is amongst the first Renewable Energy producers we approved, also a business friend of Hon. Olo Fiti Vaai.

Green Power had seen me many times with verbal requests to expand their production.

When we visited China with Hon Lautafi Purcell, representatives of Green Power met us with the same request.

And again, we gave the same answer; “prepare a complete proposal for consideration by Government”.

They never did.

The Faatuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi Government ought to have its decision based on Good Governance Principles for the benefit of all our people.

When our more experienced professional Technicians are being sacked by the current Government the capacity problems facing our Government have worsened.

We ought to be more visionary, pragmatic, open minded and above all make use of our God given common sense to avoid an allegation of the blind in Samoa leading the blind on choosing the best producer that will give us the cheapest electricity.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi

Leader of HRPP