Soaring Natural Gas Prices Powering Papua New Guinea’s Renewable Energy Boom

National Economy

The population of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea  is approximately 9.34 million people[1]. In 2020, 60.4 % of the people in this country occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands in Oceania had access to electricity[2].

In 2021, Papua New Guinea’s economy was ranked 112th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[3]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export[4] of liquified natural gas, gold, copper ore, wood, and nickel.

Environment Policies

In 2016, Papua New Guinea signed the Paris Climate Agreement[5]committing to reduce deforestation. Papua New Guinea also committed to shift to 100% renewable energy by 2030, conditional on international support.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2020, the state-owned utility, PNG Power Limited (PPL) used oil (79.2 %) and renewable energy (20.8 %) to generate electricity in Papua New Guinea[6]. Hydropower and biomass are the primary types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Papua New Guinea.

Recent renewable energy projects in Papua New Guinea include:

  • 240 MW Hydropower Project – Chinese (PRC) power company, Shenzhen Energy Group Company is continuing work on the Ramu 2 hydroelectric project, which is located in the Eastern Highlands Province in the central region of the country. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2024.
  • 80 MW Hydropower Project – PNG Power Limited (PPL) is continuing work on the Naoro-Brown hydroelectric project, which is located in the Central Province in the southeastern region of the country. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2026.
  • 50 MW Hydropower Project – In July 2022, PPL commissioned the Edevu hydroelectric project, which is located in the Central Province.


In 1987, British Petroleum made the first major natural gas discovery in Papua New Guinea[7]. Liquified natural gas (LNG) was first exported from Papua New Guinea in 2014.

In 2020, LNG exports generated U.S. $2.29 Billion in revenue for Papua New Guinea[8]. In 2021, Papua New Guinea was the 17th largest natural gas exporting country[9] in the world.

Although Papua New Guinea is an exporter of national gas, the nation imports oil for power generation and transportation. In 2020, Papua New Guinea spent[10] U.S. $323 Million for imported refined petroleum and U.S. $82.7 Million for imported crude oil.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, resulting in the United States, Canada, and the European Union placing embargos on Russian exports. The international price for crude oil has increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

Papua New Guinea has vast undeveloped renewable energy resources, including hydropower, biomass, solar, geothermal, and wind. Soaring liquified natural gas prices are now fueling the renewable energy boom in Papua New Guinea.


Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”



Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.


[1] Papua New Guinea Population (2022) –  November 3, 2022,

[2] World Bank, Access To Electricity (% Population) – Papua New Guinea

[3] Gross Domestic Product By Country 2021 – Worldometer

[4] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Papua New Guinea

[5] Carbon Brief “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[6] Our World In Data, Papua New Guinea : Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

[7] Papua New Guinea: A Review and Forecast of Exploration and Production By Samantha Humphreys, 15 March 2018

[8] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Papua New Guinea Exports

[9] Liquified Natural Gas Exports By Country 2021 by Daniel Workman

[10] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Papua New Guinea Imports

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