REALISING Fiji's need to reduce its import bill for fuel, a group of investors from India is in the country to meet relevant authorities and discuss the possibility of investing as well as providing technical assistance in this area.
Fiji High Commissioner to India Yogesh Karan, who accompanied the investors to the country at the weekend, said the group would meet the public and private organisations over the next two weeks.
"We have arranged to meet with the ministers concerned, the respective ministries and some members of the private organisations," he said. The investors will discuss solar energy and renewable energy when they meet with Minister of Works, Transport and Public Utilities Colonel Timoci Natuva.
They will also talk about the possibilities of co-generation of electricity from municipal waste.
"This is a follow up from the meeting held in New Delhi in October," Mr Karan said.
In October, Col. Natuva met his Indian counterpart Dr Farooq Abdullah and discussed enhancing renewable energy in Fiji.
During their meeting, Col. Natuva told Dr Adbullah that Fiji's fuel import bill was very high and the government was committed to exploring new areas for energy generation. He briefed Dr Abdullah on Fiji's advance in hydropower and mentioned that Fiji recently completed another project in the generation of electricity through hydro.
He also spoke about Fiji's energy reforms and developments by government in the areas of renewable energy, particularly in hydro, solar and wind energy.
Col. Natuva welcomed India's willingness to assist Fiji in the provision of expertise to develop renewable energy sources in Fiji.
Dr Abdullah said energy was crucial for fuelling the growth rate that India aimed for in future.
He said India strived to bridge its energy deficit and needed to increase the share of clean, sustainable, new, and renewable energy sources. He further said whether or not renewable energy would completely replace fossil fuel; India was determined to develop renewable energy.
Mr Karan said Fiji could benefit greatly from India's experiences in renewable energy. He said Fiji would submit its proposal soon. Col. Natuva said he wanted to train his staff in India on renewable energy for professional development. The team of investors are scheduled to meet Health Minister Doctor Neil Sharma on the possibility of solar electrification of hospitals.