PROGRESS and modernity should not damage our environment.
This was the statement made by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama at the opening of the newly completed $300 million Nadarivatu hydro-electric scheme last week.
Commodore Bainimarama said the new dam and electricity generated from it paved the way for further reducing reliance on fossil fuels for Fiji's energy needs.
"This dam will generate 100 million units of electricity a year that will power our progress, extending power lines to homes in the villages, in the farming areas, in the cities, and to businesses everywhere. Progress and modernity should not, however, mean damaging our environment," he said.
"The new energy created by this dam is clean energy. My government together with FEA is committed to developing clean, renewable and affordable sources. Nadarivatu is the latest achievement in our objective to meet our goal of providing 90 percent of all our energy requirements through renewable energy sources by the year 2015," he added.
Commodore Bainimarama also said apart from reducing costs, the Nadarivatu hydro project was a green energy source that would benefit the country.
"This will not only reduce the deficit in our balance of payments position but ensure that we protect our environment by reducing greenhouse emissions and contribute to the global effort of mitigating risks of climate change and environmental degradation. The board, management and staff of the FEA must be commended for their efforts to continue to energise the nation," he said.