Electricity prices in Vanuatu are some of the highest in the Pacific, which leads to the high cost of running schools, and the subsequent negative impact on the availability and quality of education.
Vanuatu Earth Care Association (VECA) is an organisation based in Santo, Vanuatu that aims to build bridges for civil society and community organizations concerned for sustainable development. It also advocates on environmental issues in Vanuatu and the Pacific region at large.
EWBNZ has formed a partnership with VECA in April 2013, with the aim to reduce electricity costs for the schools in Santo, reduce carbon emissions and build local capacity on sustainable energy projects.
EWBNZ has been providing technical assistance to support this initiative. The EWB Canterbury Students Chapter has completed a feasibility study and preliminary research, and a field trip was undertaken in late 2014. The aim was to determine if it is feasible to implement renewable energy systems in schools on the island of Espiritu Santo. The study is being carried out by University of Canterbury students: Maria Fernando, Kieran Fanning and Morgan Harris and Wellington professional, Micah Sherman, an electrical engineer at Infratec Renewables.
Regular updates by Maria can be found here.