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August 07, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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The University of the South Pacific (USP)today unveiled Fiji and the Pacific region's first Solar Electric Vehicle Charging Station.

The project which is funded under the Pacific Fund Programme of the Government of France is aimed to tackle climate change issues in Fiji and the region.

Speaking at the commissioning of the station, France ambassador to Fiji Gilles Montagnier said  they will continue to support development projects impacting the whole South Pacific region.

“Climate change is for sure one of the main threats to this region, and will affect in the coming years and decades most of the Pacific Islands states and the territories,” said Montagnier.

He said by supporting such a project, they aim at developing and promoting alternative sources of energy which therefore contribute in mitigating the effects of climate change in the region.

“Renewable energies might also been considered from an economic perspective.”

He said the rising cost of fuel and its impact on the Pacific Island Countries shows Fiji the need to promote alternative, sustainable, and affordable sources of energy to  be beneficial for all.

This project aims at replacing kerosene or benzene light with solar light and made them available to different communities in Fiji through the micro-credit fund.

USP vice chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra said project will boost research for the students.

Prof Chandra said sustainability is the main area in climate change adaptation.

He said France is assisting USP in the most vital area which is the renewable energy and is urging the Government of France to continue to assist the institution on this area.

Asco Motors, regional manager Arthur Breckterfield said the project arrived at the right time.

Breckterfield said they exclusively have two solar charged cars which just arrived.

He said Asco Motors now can get more solar charged cars in Fiji as the charger is readily available here in the country.

By Ropate Valemei

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