Tonga gets a solar power plant for Christmas

gift wrapped solar panel

Tonga got a few thousand of these for Christmas!

It’s the time of giving, of peace and understanding towards all nations (in theory anyway) but what do you give the country that has everything: sun, beaches, lovely people etc? Why solar power plants of course.

That is exactly the gift the Japanese government has given the beautiful island nation of Tonga according to press reports this week. According to the Tonga Power Limited, “… the┬áJapanese Government through the Japanese International Cooperation Association (JICA) agreed to provide full grant funding for the Vaini solar project in Tongatapu.”

The 1MW solar farm will provide three percent of Tonga Power’s needs and is due for completion in March 2015. The solar power plant will contribute to reducing the island’s dependence on the polluting diesel plants currently in use. This all amounts to a very useful Christmas gift courtesy of JICA. Which is nice.

Now the more hard nosed among you will be pleased to hear that your correspondent isn’t going to get all hippy and start advocating that you hug a solar cell or knit your own inverters for foreign aid this festive season. The very thought brings a tear to a glass eye.

Of course there’s the standard quid pro quo when a wealthy nation rolls out the dosh for a smaller country in any foreign aid. Perhaps Japan’s trying to tie up Tonga’s vote in the next whaling meeting or seeking cheap holidays to the paradise island nation? I honestly don’t know. Perhaps too harsh?

As my wife reminds me though, it pays not to be too cynical and in this case I think she’s right.

Whatever the political shenanigans behind the scenes, the result is that Tonga gets the funding for solar power projects which can only set an example to the rest of the fossil fuel polluting world. Having renewable energy such as this project will do no harm to their image of being one of the world’s leaders in sustainable tourism.

This can only be a good thing.

Solar power plants as foreign aid currency? Well why not? What a great way to give the gift that keeps on giving. As this is the last of this correspondent’s articles before Christmas, it just leaves me to say thank you to all the readers and those who took time to comment on the assorted rants, sprays and diatribes pumped out from the bowels of the SQHQ K-town bunker throughout the year. Have a Merry and safe solar Christmas.


  1. d'Albert Mtalhoko says

    Very good news ! Thanks Shinzo Abe and the People of Japan on behalf of the Tongans ! The nearer ‘Natural the Renewable Energy Source the better’

  2. Maybe the people of Australia should get together and give Australia a solar power plant so they can see how good it is.

  3. Happy New Year to you and thanks for your comments!

Speak Your Mind

Please keep the SolarQuotes blog constructive and useful with these 4 rules:

1. Real names are preferred - you should be happy to put your name to your comments.
2. Put down your weapons.
3. Assume positive intention.
4. If you are in the solar industry - try to get to the truth, not the sale.
5. Please stay on topic.

%d bloggers like this: