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March 3, 2024

Sustainable energy solutions in Tuvalu

Mana Pacific Consultants has facilitated procurement of biogas digesters to provide a more sustainable cooking fuel in Tuvalu households.

Director, Mr Taupo Tani, was in Tuvalu to support a pilot project coordinated by regional organisation, Pacific Community (SPC) Transforming Local Communities through Domestic Biogas Systems (DBS) in Funafuti, Tuvalu, funded by U.S. Embassy. Concurrently, Mana Pacific Consultants supported workable solutions with procurement of biogas digesters for the Tuvalu Department of Trade & Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF). The biogas digesters were supplied through Pacific Grow - a Fiji-based company that specialises in innovative environment-friendly agricultural technology and know-how for sustainable solutions.

Visiting recipient households with biogas digesters

The projects focus on transitioning households in Tuvalu to a more sustainable energy future. Across Tuvalu households, domestic firewood and LPG are some of the main fuels for cooking. As the main island becomes more densely populated, there is less domestic firewood available on the island, requiring more to be imported. Accessing energy sources for cooking is costly and reliant on shipping schedules. A 13kg LPG gas cylinder, which in New Zealand would normally cost around NZD$37, can cost about AUD$85 per cylinder on the main island and about AUD$100 on the outer islands. The instability of freight also means that when fuel runs out there is often uncertainty when the next shipment will come in, with ships being delayed or cancelled due to severe storms.

While in Tuvalu, Mr Tani accompanied representatives from Pacific Grow and the U.S. Embassy, visiting several of the homes where the biogas digesters were being utilised and seeing how they worked. The biogas digesters work by using organic waste from farm and home to produce clean cooking gas. Up to 36L of pig manure (or 18L of household food scraps) can be fed daily into the system to provide up to 4-6 hours per day of stove cooking time on a double burner.

Biogas digester installation
Gasline and cooker installation

There are multiple benefits to having these biogas digesters installed for households or communities across Tuvalu. They allow households to save money on cooking fuel, while also helping to manage organic waste on the island. As a byproduct, they provide organic liquid fertiliser to be used either at home to support healthy plant growth or to sell as an added source of income.

Mr Tani was there to see the Department of Energy Tuvalu give a presentation to funders providing feedback on the implementation of this project. Reactions from households have been positive, many happy to have free gas. Mana Pacific Consultants looks forward to continuing involvement in this project, as it rolls out to other families and community groups across Tuvalu.

Mana Pacific Consultants, Pacific Community (SPC), Department of Energy Tuvalu, U.S. Embassy, Pacific Grow and recipients
Sustainable energy solutions in Tuvalu
Biogas digester for Tuvalu household
Transitioning Tuvalu households to more sustainable energy source
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