Solar and Biomass
Although Papua New Guinea (PNG) does not have any large solar projects yet, it could be a major contributor to the grid in the future due to its competitive price and great conditions in many parts of PNG.
However, the obstacles to solar gaining a foothold in PNG are more regulatory than economic. Tax credits/incentives and a firm renewables energy target are government policies that are desperately needed to drive investment.
In the meantime, a smaller way that solar energy can contribute is by off-grid solutions, such as by adding solar panels to the roofs of schools, hospitals, and other public institutions.
Biomass creates electricity by burning plant products, often from plantation timber (large scale level) or excess agricultural produce (small scale level). It can be carbon neutral if the plant products are harvested and managed sustainably. This is because the next generation of growing plants recaptures the carbon released when burning the previous generation of plant material.
Large biomass facilities can produce energy for the grid, such as the new 30MW biomass project in the Markham River Valley. Biomass can also work at a small scale village or town level – especially in areas that produce a lot of agricultural produce. The excess plant products that are not consumed or used can be used to create energy for the whole village.