Coconut oil as a fuel in the Pacific Islands
The steadily increasing world market prices for fossil fuels in the past years have significantly increased interest in the development of indigenous sources of energy in the Pacific islands. As an import substitution strategy, many Pacific island Governments are looking into the use of local biomass resources to replace traditionally imported fuels such as petrol and diesel by biofuels. An overview of biofuel activities is given, with experiences and key achievements in Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati and Marshall Islands with regard to efforts to develop alternative fuels. There are strong linkages between developments in the various Pacific island countries and lessons to be learned from experiences and policies implemented among Governments in the Pacific region. The paper concludes that there is a need for standardization, quality control and testing facilities for biofuels in the region. Governments need to investigate further the level of support that is required to make biofuel operations viable and maximize macroeconomic and environmental benefits.