Hydropower in Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (PNG) has abundant fast flowing rivers, which makes it an ideal candidate for hydropower. Because hydropower uses the energy of running water to create electricity, it is 100 % renewable energy.
Hydropower already supplies over a third (37% in 2015) of the energy needs to PNG’s grid. Hydro supplied 88% of the energy to the Ramu grid between 2004 and 2015, which is Mayur’s proposed power plant site. Most of this came from the Ramu 1 hydropower plant, although several smaller plants also contributed.
Notably, major hydropower developments are underway that will increase the amount going to the grid. For example, approval has been given for construction for the Ramu 2 project –further downstream from Ramu 1, which would bring an estimated 180MW to the Ramu grid. Two significant hydro projects are also being considered for the Port Moresby Grid, the Naoro Brown plant (78MW), and the Edevu plant (51MW).
There are also opportunities for ‘micro-hydro’ projects: smaller off-grid hydropower stations that could supply power to villages and small towns. In neighbouring Indonesia, for example, the government invests in small 4-50kW micro-hydro stations. This concept would work very well in many of the more remote villages in the PNG highlands.