United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power has announced that USAID will provide $1.2million (K4.4million) to establish a solar mini-grid system in Papua New Guinea’s Central province.
This is in partnership with clean energy company WEnergy Global.
The mini-grid will connect at least 800 households and 30 businesses to electricity improving energy access for at least 4,800 people.
Administrator Power made this announcement following her visit to the Morata Settlement area where she spoke with the community members about the impact of improved energy access.
Papua New Guinea has one of the Asia Pacific region’s lowest electrification rates, where only an estimated 13 percent of the population was connected to the national power grid in 2020.
The United States partnered with the Governments of Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan to form the Papua New Guinea Electrification Partnership (PEP) initiative, which supports PNG’s goal of connecting 70 percent of the population to electricity by 2030.
This new funding will support USAID’s contribution, the USAID-PEP activity, which aims to deliver 350,000 new household connections by 2025.
USAID is working to catalyze investments with private sector stakeholders to advance Administrator Power’s vision to ensure that our programs sustain progress beyond their life cycles.
The $1.2 million (K4.45 million) award is part of USAID’s EDGE Fund, a seed fund designed to leverage the private sector’s expertise in confronting some of the world’s most significant challenges of our time, such as climate change, democratic backsliding and anti-corruption, food insecurity, and the need for inclusive economic growth.
In Papua New Guinea, USAID will utilize the EDGE fund to support and catalyze the private sector to jumpstart investments in off-grid areas and support the Government of Papua New Guinea’s goal of connecting 70 percent of the population to electricity by 2030, and to advance climate change objectives in the Pacific Islands.