National Programmes

Southern Group Renewable Energy


This project is implemented by the ADB and will assist the Cook Islands to fulfil its goal of delivering renewable energy to all its islands by 2020 and also reducing the Cook Islands’ dependence on fossil fuels, by building solar-powered plants on six of its islands, funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Union (EU), the Global Environment Fund (GEF), the Government of Japan through the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (Pacific Environment Community Fund or PEC) and the government of the Cook Islands.

An Inception meeting held in May 2015 resulted in the government signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Asian Development Bank, finalising the scope for Phase 1. Construction of the solar farms, systems and distribution upgrades on Mitiaro, Mauke, Mangaia and Atiu. Rarotonga and Aitutaki, will be progressively be developed over 2015 for the implementation of Phase 2 alongside institutional capacity building and national policy work. 

Each solar power plant built on the islands in the country’s south under this $24.28 million project will have a total installed power generation capacity of approximately 3 megawatts. It is anticipated that this project will lower annual use of diesel consumption for generating electricity by 1.09 million litres, in turn lowering carbon dioxide emissions. Nearly all households in the Cook Islands are connected to grid electricity. Of these households 5.5% have additional solar photovoltaic systems installed, and 1% use small diesel generators. The Cook Islands depends heavily on imported fuels and electricity costs there are among the highest in the Pacific.

Total funding is estimated at US$11.19 million (NZD$12.98 million) of a loan from ADB’s Ordinary Capital Resources, a $7.26 million grant from the EU a product grant of Pacific Environment Community (PEC) USD3.9 million along with in-kind contribution of $5.83 million from the Cook Islands Government will fund the project. The project’s executing agency is the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management. The implementing partners are the Renewable Energy Development Division of the Office of the Prime Minister and the Rarotonga Power Authority (Te Aponga Uira) and the Island governments.In April 2015, the GEF secretariat approved the project concept for inclusion a project preparation grant (PPG) of US$136,986. Additional grant funding of about US$4.12 million from GEF will increase the overall project investment to about US$28.40 million from the current US$24.28 million

This project compliments the solar power project implemented for the Northern Group of the Cook Islands and Rarotonga from the Government of New Zealand.


Cook Islands Renewable Energy Charts and Implementation Plans

 The Cook Islands Government is taking a bold step towards transforming its dependency on fossil fuel. Plans to transform the energy sector from one dependent on imported petroleum to one that relies 100 per cent on renewable energy by 2020 are set out in the Cook Islands Renewable Energy Chart.

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Cook Islands Agriculture

The Cook Islands Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for agricultural development, legislation and sustainability in the Cook Islands. Whose vision is for an environment to be relatively free of serious plant and animal pestilence to enable a healthy sustainable method of food production in plants and livestock where possible.

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United Nations GEF

As the UN system's development programme and a GEF Implementing Agency since 1991, UNDP supports countries in addressing development, climate, and ecosystem sustainability in an integrated manner.  As a GEF Implementing Agency, UNDP-GEF offers countries highly specialized technical services for eligibly assessment, programme/project formulation, due diligence, mobilization of required co-financing, project implementation oversight, results management and evaluation, performance-based payments and knowledge management. 

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Climate Change Information Portals

The portals contained on this page is an effort to provide users with a central location to access climate related information from agencies acting on Climate Change.

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Global Environment Facility (GEF)

The Global Environment Facility is a partnership for international cooperation where 183 countries work together with international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector, to address global environmental issues.  

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Cook Islands Infrastructure

The National Sustainable Development Commission has delegated national capital planning and monitoring in the Cook Islands to the multi-stakeholder Infrastructure Committee which includes key public agencies and private sector representatives. The Secretariat is hosted by the Cook Islands Investment Corporation. This committee brings together the knowledge of implementors, central government planners and industry best practice in order to improve outcomes outlined in the national plans. This committee report to the National Sustainable Development Plan.

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Infrastructure Master Plan Volumes

Infrastructure Master Plan (IMP) volumes:

 Volume 1 - Master Plan Overview: Is an executive summary of the entire TA, and draws together key sections of the other volumes, and information from the inception and mid- term reports.  It attempts to address, in a single volume, the requirements of the Project TOR

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Trade and Development

It's generally recognised that development and trade are woven together. The Centre for Global Developement states that ''trade provides important opportunities for developing countries to attract investment, create jobs, and reduce poverty.''

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Peer Review

Between 21 October and 01 November, a Peer Review team of Pacific development officials will be in the Cook Islands to undertake a review of how the Cook Islands government, development partners and other stakeholders plan, budget, deliver and monitor development programmes and services to the people of the Cook Islands.  The peer review team will meet with a wide range of political and traditional leaders, parliamentarians, senior government officials, private sector, civil society representatives, the general public and development partners including with the communities in Mangaia and Aitutaki.

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Climate Change

Climate change and disasters affect the Cook Islands' economic, social, environmental and cultural progress. In this regard, our national and local development strategies give emphasis to our heritage and resilience as a large ocean state promoting low carbon economic development alongside social and environmental benefits. Our partnerships and means of coordination and communication recognise the capacity of our people and systems, to plan and implement strategies for climate change in the Cook Islands.

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Promoting Energy Efficiency in the Pacific (PEEP2)

Promoting Energy Efficiency in the Pacific (PEEP 2)

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Based on a consultation process conducted in 2008 on behalf of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Pacific Alliance for Sustainability, five Pacific Developing Member Countries (PDMCs) — the Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu assigned high priority to reducing the use of fossil fuels and expressed interest in participating in a regional project to promote energy efficiency.
In response, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a Regional Technical Assistance (RETA) for Promoting Energy Efficiency in the Pacific (PEEP) in September 2008, which focused on reduction in consumption of electricity through a variety of demand-side efficiency measures, as power generation is a prime use for the petroleum imported into the region. The RETA will be implemented in 2 Phases.

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Rarotonga Water Tank Subsidy

In April 2013, the Cook Islands Government approved the implementation of a 3 year Water Tank Subsidy Programme targeted at 2,000 eligible Rarotonga private dwelling. Through Parliament, a National Budget Approriation from FY2011/12 to FY2015/16 has a total funding of $3 million from the Asian Development Bank loan to the Government of the Cook Islands for its Economic Recovery & Support Programme. 

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