IFC has made a US$2 million investment in Sunergise International Ltd., a company that supplies solar rooftop energy in the Pacific region. IFC’s investment will allow Sunergise to scale up its business and expand solar installations in Fiji and across the region, including to the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, where a stable and affordable power supply will provide a boost to businesses and reduce costs.
“Approximately 50 percent of the power supply in the Pacific is diesel-generated and can readily be replaced with solar power,” said Paul Makumbe, Chief Executive Officer of Sunergise. “IFC’s support will enable us to remain competitive as we expand our operations across the region, where the demand for clean and renewable energy resources continues to grow.”
Access to power is a major challenge across the Pacific, where the energy market is characterized by high electricity costs, heavy reliance on imported petroleum products, and unreliable supply. The region is almost completely dependent on imported fossil fuels, but renewable energy resources are abundant and most Pacific countries receive an average of seven hours of sunshine every day.
“Investing in Sunergise enables us to support an innovative business model that brings renewable energy solutions to commercial operations across the Pacific,” said Sérgio Pimenta, IFC’s Director for East Asia Pacific. “Offering less expensive, cleaner power to customers, with no upfront investment required on their behalf, will provide significant benefits in countries such as Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, where access to affordable, reliable and sustainable power is a major business impediment.”
A key priority for IFC in the Pacific is to increase access to reliable energy sources, improve energy efficiency, and replace the use of fossil fuels with renewable sources. IFC recently announced the launch of Lighting PNG and a project with global telecommunications provider Digicel to bring solar cell-phone charging to villages across Papua New Guinea.