The Independent State of Papua New Guinea comprises the eastern region of the island of New Guinea and offshore islands in Melanesia. The nation is bordered by Indonesia, Arafura Sea, Coral Sea, Solomon Sea, Bismark Sea, and Pacific Ocean. The population of Papua New Guinea is approximately 10.38 million people.
In 2022, Papua New Guinea’s economy was ranked 100th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of liquified natural gas, gold, copper ore, palm oil, and nickel mattes.
In 2016, Papua New Guinea signed the Paris Climate Agreement 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 2021, only 18.9% of the people in Papua New Guinea had access to electricity. In 2021, the state-owned utility, PNG Power Limited (PPL) used refined petroleum(73.5%) and renewable energy (26.5%) to generate electricity in Papua New Guinea. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Papua New Guinea.
Recent renewable energy projects in Papua New Guinea include:
- 183 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 by year end 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 April 2023, PPL commissioned the Edevu hydroelectric project, which is located in the Central Province.
In 1987, British Petroleum made the first significant natural gas discovery in Papua New Guinea. Liquified natural gas (LNG) was first exported from Papua New Guinea in 2014.
Although Papua New Guinea is an exporter of national gas, the nation imports refined petroleum for power generation and transportation. In 2021, Papua New Guinea imported U.S. $421 Million of refined petroleum.
On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.
Papua New Guinea has vast undeveloped renewable energy resources, including hydropower, biomass, solar, onshore wind, geothermal, and offshore wind. Natural gas exports are now funding the renewable energy boom in Papua New Guinea.
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, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.