Saturday, August 05, 2006

Solar Power in Fiji

I am a firm believer in decentralization and appropriate technology so I am interested in the use of solar energy in rural areas of Fiji. Surely solar cell systems which generate electricity from sunlight are appropriate for a tropical country like Fiji. They are quiet, give off no pollution, don't require much land or water to operate, and can be used to generate both electricity and fuels.

Over ten years ago, solar power was installed in the village of Ovea in Tailevu. In 1999 it was intalled in the village of Naroi, Moala Island in Lau for 170 households. The cost was donated by France.

In Fiji the Department of Energy installed 193 solar power in the province of Bua and Cakaudrove in 2002. They worked with the Pacific International Centre for High Technology Research (PICHTR).

FDOE, with Public Work Department (PWD) and PICHTR, installed a 720 kWh/day renewable-energy-hybrid-power system at the Nabouwalu Government Station )western side of Vanua Levu_ for offices, shops, ice-plant, bakeries, 30-bed hospital, school, post office, police station and a village. The system was designed by PICHTR. Upwards of 70% is supplied with the renewable energy equipment and the balance with diesel generators. The system produces electricity at costs that are competitive with the true cost of electricity production with fossil fuels.

Nukubati Resort off the coast of Macuata uses panels to capture heat from the sun.
These are some examples of solar energy being used in Fiji and there are other places as well.

Surely this could be done in numerous villages and locations which are isolated from the main power sources in Fiji.

The pics above are from Ovea, Nukubati and Nabouwalu.

Are they still working well I wonder.

I presume that the adventurers who are coming to Vorovoro Island with the tribewanted scheme will be looking seriously at the option of solar power for the project.


Momo the Wonder Dog said...

Some of the earliest solar installation around the world are still operating fine. In fact some people get used panels from the storage yards of highway departments that have replaced old solar powered signs and use those old panels to power their home. Basically, solar (photovoltaic) panels should last a lifetime with little or no degredation in performance.

As diesel fuel continues to go up in price in future years, photovoltaic will be invaluable, perhaps in combination (where appropriate) with micro-hydro and small wind driven generators which can compliment each other to provide a stable supply.

Anonymous said...

Can any one tell me who to contact if I want to get solar power at my home in Labasa. you can e mail me

Colin Hill said...

Earlier comments are correct.

Decentralising power generation in a country like Fiji is just the logical way to go.

If set up costs can be disbursed through developed country assistance (grants and so on) the long-term benefits are enormous.

I am with a company called Solargex ( and we are enthused and excited by the prospects for Fiji if it embraces this clean and reliable technology.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hello Colin,
Peceli can follow up your comments when he gets time and he'll be talking with some solar power guys in Melbourne in a couple of weeks time.

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Anonymous said...

Can anyone tellme, is there any outlet for Solar Penal & installation around WEST of Fiji. Thanks.

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Anonymous said...

hi! i have been thinking of having lights empowered by solar systems at my parentÅ› home in Vesi, Mali. anyone knows anyone in fiji who specialises in this field? if so, please, e-mail me...mers_c@yahoo,com..i am very much looking forward to it. thank you.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Bula sia!
I guess you are somehow related to us if you are from Vesi where Peceli's Mum came from.
It would be excellent to have solar power in places like Vesi and Peceli had a plan for it and had talked it over with contacts in Melbourne who deal with solar power and go as volunteers to set it up, but it's not the right time because of the uncomfortable situation in Fiji. However I suggest that you contact the people on Vorovoro Island because they have set up something small there.

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Another new distribution company is coming soon in fiji...visit ... unfortunately, they only sell to the retailers... the owner has been working as a design engineer in australia for some years. He has worked on systems up to8MW whichis currently in the finishng stage in thailand.. and now wants to bring some portable solutions to fiji ... something that is cheap, and affordable for people in fiji.... it surely will replace all the kerosene and benzine lights....visit, ... if you are interested in selling some of their prodcts, email them...

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Anonymous said...

4bula from the burinig west,

can u pliz email me on how you go about installing this solar system...cause i would like one to be installed at my family home in korelevu, email adress

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