Today is World Sustainable Energy Day, with the 2023 theme being “Energy Transition = Energy Security!”. We speak with Wycliff Bakeo, an Australia Awards alumnus who graduated with a Master of Environmental Engineering and Management in 2014 from Sydney University of Technology. Wycliff is the Principal Policy Analyst for Climate Change, Environment and Disasters at the Department of Strategic Policy, Planning and Aid Coordination (DSPPAC) based within the Ministry of the Prime Minister.
Wycliff and his department are responsible for developing the Vanuatu National Development Sustainable Plan (NSDP) and the Government policy planning priorities. One of these important priorities is the implementation of the Vanuatu National Energy Road Map 2016-2030 (NERM) which outlines the efforts being made to promote green and sustainable energy. The NERM is the policy framework for developing the energy sector in Vanuatu. NERM’s overall vision is to energise Vanuatu’s growth and development through the provision of secure, affordable, widely accessible, high quality, clean energy services for an educated, healthy, and wealthy nation.
The NERM identified five priorities for the energy sector: access, affordability, energy security, sustainability and energy for Green Growth. Wycliff explains “I began working with the DSPPAC at a pivotal time for change and growth. I was able to contribute alongside my colleagues to the development of policies, legislation and standards we continue to promote and enhance as the focus on sustainable energy increases”.
Wycliff also sits on the Board for the Vanuatu National Green Energy Fund (NGEF), an initiative recognised with its own legislation. NGEF’s aim is to facilitate capital investment opportunities to improve energy access for households and businesses in rural and peri-urban areas resulting in improved livelihoods, job creation and greater opportunities for income generation through implementation of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The Government of Vanuatu aims to create a sustainable fund, consolidating domestic resources and attracting international investment, as one of the tools for the implementation of the National Energy Road Map (NERM). The NGEF will focus on rural electrification through renewables, energy efficiency and other renewable energy applications.
Wycliff further explains “our approach is considerate of being inclusive throughout the provinces, so it is important to provide options that are accessible, reliable and affordable”. Wycliff’s commitment to the protection of Vanuatu’s natural environment through a multi-faceted approach bodes well for the prosperity of Vanuatu and speaks volumes to this year’s World Sustainable Energy Day theme, “Energy Transition = Energy Security!”.