Invasive species could be turned into renewable energy

Samoa is a home to an abundance of plants, not forgetting indigenous species and invasive species. 

These plants can be found across the islands of Upolu, Savai’i, Manono and Apolima. 

This week, Samoa is celebrating National Environment Week.

It goes hand in hand with the opening of the inception workshop held at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel.

As part of adapting to Climate Change and Sustainable Energy programme, a component Bill and Sustainable Bio energy, Samoa’s project focuses on biomass resources assessments at the Samoa Trust Estates Corporation (S.T.E.C.) plantation at Mulifanua.

 Vanda Faasoa Chan Ting, Assistant Chief Executive Officer said such project would improve sustainability of the power system for renewable and non-renewable energy within five years.

“This biomass classification plant is between the Estates Corporation and Electric Power Corporation.”

The project serves many purposes; one is getting renewable energy out of invasive species, eradicating these invasive species and at the same time getting clean electricity.

“There were already a feed stock facility study on S.T.E.C. Land at Mulifanua and through that study there is enough invasive species for the biomass classification plant.”

These invasive plants includes Pafiti, Funtumia Elastica (PULUVAO), Castilla Elastica (Pulumamoe), Ficus Obliqua (Aoa), MCananga Odorata (Moso’oi), Cocos Nucifera (Niu), Albizia Falcataria (Tamaligi) and Rhus Taitensis ( Tavai).

The United Nations Development Programme is funding the project.

U.N.D.P. Deputy President Representative, Notonegoro said: “The project we are launching today (yesterday) is designed to contribute to the achievement of G.H.G. emission reduction, particularly in Samoa’s energy sector." 

“As will be presented later, the project will, among others, help improve sustainable and cost-effective and energy efficient utilization of indigenous renewable energy resources for energy production (power and non-power applications) in Samoa.”

Vanda reiterated: “I can confidently say on behalf of everyone who is working really hard behind the scene, trying to achieve 100 percent renewable energy target, in eight years times we will be able to achieve the 100 percent renewable electricity target.”

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