Recently, the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) carried out a Technical Assistance Week and Workshop entitled, “Energy Efficiency for Vanuatu.” This workshop was hosted by the Vanuatu Energy Department as the local counterpart of the UNDP project “Center of Excellence for Small Island Development States (SIDS-COE)” funded in collaboration with the Dutch Kingdom.

The UNDP SIDS-COE aims to facilitate a learning and knowledge-sharing platform among the SIDS by promoting South- South cooperation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Technical Assistance Week was executed by the experts of TNO Caribbean (The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, based in Aruba). TNO is an independent applied research organization whose expertise and research has contributed to the competitiveness of companies and organizations, to economies and to the quality of the society as a whole.

The Technical Assistance Week aimed to support Vanuatu with the implementation of their energy roadmap and provide technical expertise on the implementation of energy efficiency measures. The assistance addressed issues such as energy efficiency in the tourism sector, challenges of renewable energy, and smart island solutions for energy supply.

During the technical assistance week, the TNO experts had several one-on-one meetings with relevant stakeholders of the energy sector in Vanuatu, in which best practices, challenges and opportunities were shared.

After the local consultation, the workshop “Energy Efficiency for Vanuatu” was held. More than ten stakeholders participated in the workshop, both from the public and private sector. The Department of Energy, Vanuatu Services and representatives from Etech, PCS Limited and Rapid Electrical were involved. In addition, stakeholders from the tourism sector, Sunset Bungalow representatives, and the Department of Tourism were engaged during the workshop due to the relevance of energy efficiency and energy demand for this sector.

In the workshop, the TNO Caribbean team shared best-practices, case-studies and experiences from other islands, such as Aruba and Bonaire. Small islands generally present similar challenges for energy efficiency and renewable energy implementation. However, the local context remains different and unique for each of the islands. Local experts play an important role in adapting the information to the national context.

In addition to the technical considerations, aspects such as stakeholder management and project planning were also addressed, as these are key aspects for a successful implementation of any project. The participants most appreciated the opportunity to learn from each other, discuss issues from multiple approaches and learn techniques for stakeholder alignment. 

As the main conclusion of the week, the participants presented the Vanuatu Energy Efficiency Strategy which defines the stakeholder alignment and the phases to reach energy efficiency goals from initiation to closing, including planning, execution and monitoring phases.