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Monday, April 23, 2012

Doing business should not cost the earth, FDB offers sustainable energy financing

People living in the Province of Bua have an opportunity to learn more about renewable and alternative energy options when they visit the Fiji Development Bank marquee at the ASCO Motors Bua Tradeshow to be held in Nabouwalu, Bua this week. The three-day tradeshow to be held from April 25-27 will see a team from the Department of Energy (DoE) and renewable energy product suppliers CBS Power Solutions, join the team from FDB and avail themselves for consultation to those interested in adopting the technology on offer.

"Through the Sustainable Energy Financing Project (SEFP) and the Import Substitution and Export Financing Facility (ISEFF), we have finance readily available for individuals and businesses respectively, who would like to make the switch from fossil to alternative or renewable energy sources," says Sylvia Low.

SEFP promotes the adoption of renewable energy sources such as solar and pico hydro as well as alternative energy sources such as bio-gas or bio-diesel for electricity generation. The options outlined can be utilised for household, industrial and agricultural purposes depending on the value of the investment and the system selected.

The bio-gas system however, is better suited to domestic and farm applications as it utilises natural organic waste from plants and animals to create natural gas. The SEFP facility is in response to Government's plans to convert up to 90 percent of Fiji's electricity demand to renewable or alternative fuel sources by 2020.

The push to greener energy sources also comes in the wake of Fiji's fuel importation bill which has increased from $784million in 2005 to just over a billion dollars last year. The end cost of this import bill is passed onto the consumer. "The Bank supports the use of greener energy sources such as solar and pico hydro or alternative fuel sources such as bio-gas or biodiesel because in the longer term, these energy sources cost nothing, is readily available and therefore works out cheaper for the consumer. It is also kinder on the environment in terms of reducing carbon emissions," Ms. Low said.

"I would encourage anyone who has a question on what is the best alternative or renewable energy option for them, to make an effort to come down to the Bua Provincial grounds over the three days and visit our marquee where the DoE and CBS staff will be more than happy to offer advice and discuss options.

"As a development financier, no one is more aware of how acute the issue of climate change on the environment is and through products such as SEFP we want to ensure that doing business is long term, sustainable and shouldn't cost us the earth," Ms. Low said.

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