Let me guess…bio-fuels?

I’ll bet that various wombles will start to suggest that Pacific nations use bio-fuels instead of diesel. While you may think that has merit it actually doesn’t. About the only thing available is coconut oil, and that is a tradeable commodity on world markets. If you divert production from copra and edible oils into fuel then everyone loses. Although the country would no longer use foreign cash reserves to buy diesel it would also not earn foreign cash either from its exports.

It is one of the other not both. Capacity cannot and will not ever be increased. I have several folders of research on this, especially in Samoa. Bio-fuel works on a small scale…for say a school, or a village, but it fails when you have to start fuelling massive power stations. The hardest part is collecting the feed-stock and when people want $2 a coconut to pick them up it fails utterly.

Several Pacific Island Prime Ministers are in Auckland today for a summit to drum up money to reduce the islands’ dependence on diesel for energy. 

The summit is one of the largest international meetings to be held in New Zealand and tens of millions of dollars of donor and loan funding is expected to be announced. The EU alone is expected to announce more than $14 million for energy projects, and Mr McCully said the summit was also to encourage more private sector investment.

He said many Pacific countries relied on diesel for more than 95 per cent of their energy needs, spending on average about 10 per cent of their GDP on importing it. About 80 renewable energy projects had been identified to help slash that back.

Others attending include Helen Clark, the head of the United Nations Development Programme.

Other potential solution involve high technology like wind or hydro…ask anyone who works in the islands about how that will pan out.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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