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Drivers and barriers of renewable energy in the electrification of Vanuatu

Polack, Anthony (2010) Drivers and barriers of renewable energy in the electrification of Vanuatu. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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This dissertation outlines the drivers and barriers of renewable energy in the electrification of Vanuatu and provides recommendations as to how the drivers can be harnessed and barriers overcome. It is based on a review of academic and other literature, observations during work undertaken by the author in Vanuatu, and a survey of renewable energy professionals in the Pacific region. It concludes that the drivers and barriers prevalent in Vanuatu, a least developed country and small island developing state, may be of greater magnitude than some other developing countries due to particular cultural, geographical, historical, and political circumstances. Moreover, some of the drivers of renewable energy development can exacerbate these barriers, e.g. a strong willingness by donor aid agencies to undertake renewable energy projects and an influx of foreign aid may be premature and unwise when there is insufficient absorptive capacity. Furthermore, as renewable energy is only one part of the solution to mitigating against climate change and the social and environmental impacts of using fossil fuels, as well as reducing the current economic dependency on petroleum products, it should be viewed holistically alongside other complementary endeavours. Implementing strategies to improve energy efficiency, energy conservation, energy demand management, and petroleum procurement also assist in solving these problems and may allow enough time for sufficient absorptive capacity in renewable energy to develop. However, this capacity should not be developed in isolation, but rather using a long term approach in conjunction with broader developments in education, health, governance and infrastructure that is complementary to that of the supply of electricity, e.g. information and communication technologies, roads, shipping, supply chains, and water supplies. In this context, the dissertation recommends that a number of policies and measures be implemented to ensure the further development of renewable energy in the electrification of Vanuatu.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Energy
Supervisor(s): Schläpfer, August
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