Clean energy policy and regulation in Tonga


Tonga recently passed the Renewable Energy Bill of 2008, and is now the first Pacific island country (PIC) to have this sort of key instrument for promoting renewable energy (RE).  The emergence of the law itself was the product of strong regional cooperation:  it was drafted by PIEPSAP (A Danish Government funded Pacific Region's - "Pacific Islands Energy Policy and Strategic Action Plan") and reviewed by PIGGAREP (A GEF/UNDP funded through South Pacific Regional Environmental Program's "Pacific Islands Greenhouse Gas Abatement through Renewable Energy Project"). However the Bill itself is not yet operational, as the institutional set up and the required regulations are not in place.


To strengthen the regulatory capacity of the Energy Division (ED) of the Ministry of Lands, Survey, Natural Resources (MLSNR) in Tonga, helping  to operationalise the Renewable Energy Bill of 2008, which is awaiting royal assent, and to assist in the drafting of an energy efficiency (EE) policy, setting the stage for the drafting of an EE Bill.

Main Activities

  • Advise the MLSNR on the composition, the most feasible physical set up, and financial implications of the RE Authority and Advisory Committee, and how the ED could operate as the Secretariat mandated by the RE Act
  • Hold consultation meetings relating to the licensing of RE operators, technical and safety standards for RE areas such as solar home systems (SHS), wind, biofuel and grid-connected RE.
  • Draft the RE regulations
  • Train the Advisory Committee, the ED, local RE industry and communities on applying the regulations and standards
  • Draft the EE policy & hold consultation meetings before submission to Cabinet 


Expected Impact

  • Improved capacity of the ED to regulate the RE sector with RE Authority, Advisory Committee
  • A coherent approach to the promotion of RE in Tonga with standards and regulations derived from the RE Act
  • An estimated additional US$13 million in RE investments in Tonga by the end of 2015.
  • An additional 2 MW of installed RE capacity expected by the end of 2015. 
  • Improved capacity of the ED to manage the EE sector through coherent  policy, setting the foundation for the later drafting of an EE Bill
  • An additional US$7 million investment in EE, yielding a 5-7 GWh saving by the end of 2015.

Related News

Programme sector: 

RE & EE (Policy&Regulation)

Stage of project: 





2011 - 2012


€ 118,081 including co-funding from Government of Tonga

Implementing agency: 

Tonga Energy Road Map Implementation Unit

REEEP grant funded by: