IFC launches South-to-South solar power project - Solomon Star News
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IFC launches South-to-South solar power project

28 May 2014
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IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, on Tuesday launched Lighting Papua New Guinea, a project to help half a million people get safe and affordable solar off-grid lighting that will boost business, allow children to study, cut household costs, and help women stay safe on the streets.

With IFC’s help, solar manufacturers mainly from other emerging markets will be able to enter the PNG market and bring off-grid power to a country where about 90 percent of the population has no access to the national electricity grid. Without power, about 6.3 million people cannot carry out household chores, read, or do business outside daylight hours. Much of the population works as smallholder fishers, farmers, or micro-retailers and lack of lighting hampers their ability to catch, sell or process products.

“Lack of access to power for lighting hurts everyone in Papua New Guinea, especially businesses, women and children,” said Karin Finkelston, IFC Vice President for Asia Pacific.

“Safe, affordable, and sustainable lighting power will support the kind of growth in the country that benefits all, especially those who work hard to improve their livelihoods by studying or setting up small enterprises.”

Yesterday’s launch of the IFC-commissioned Lighting PNG Off-Grid Lighting Market Analysis on needs and opportunities in PNG’s off-grid lighting market shows the country is poised for strong growth in solar devices, which is being driven by widespread need, high prices of other available power sources such as kerosene, and often difficult-to-access power supplies.

IFC will further support high-quality off-grid lighting companies in PNG by providing business to business connections as well as launching a consumer education campaign to increase awareness about the importance of off-grid lighting to families living in rural and remote locations.

“PNG is a market with immense promise for solar-powered products,” said Lesieli Taviri, General Manager of Origin Energy, a Lighting PNG partner company “With IFC’s support, we expect transformative growth and evolution over the next five years.” 

Using experience gained from its lighting projects in other parts of the world, IFC is helping, private solar manufacturing companies ensure the quality of their products, access market intelligence and business connections, and make innovation opportunities available. The companies will also participate in IFC’s PNG consumer awareness campaign to promote quality solar-powered lighting, which will be launched in August.

Port Moresby, PNG.

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