Pacific Islands Greenhouse Gas abatement through Renewable Energy Project (PIGGAREP, PIGGAREP+, PIGGAREP++) - FE

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Evaluation Plan:
2013-2017, Samoa
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
05/2016
Completion Date:
12/2016
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
100,000

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Title Pacific Islands Greenhouse Gas abatement through Renewable Energy Project (PIGGAREP, PIGGAREP+, PIGGAREP++) - FE
Atlas Project Number: 00044633
Evaluation Plan: 2013-2017, Samoa
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2016
Planned End Date: 05/2016
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 1.5. Inclusive and sustainable solutions adopted to achieve increased energy efficiency and universal modern energy access (especially off-grid sources of renewable energy)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 100,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 28,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: Yes
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Roland Wong Mr rolandwong@shaw.ca
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Pacific Islands Greenhouse Gas Abatement through Renewable Energy Projects
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Climate Change
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-3
GEF Project ID: 2699
PIMS Number: 3462
Key Stakeholders: SPREP, Gov. 14 PICTs, SIDS Dock
Countries: SAMOA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Evaluation recommendation A.1 (to all PIC governments):  Make annual budgetary allocations for retaining a pool of key technical personnel for supporting sustained operation and maintenance of existing RE systems, and efforts to fiscally and technically plan for RE capital replacements

This pool of personnel would:

  • be familiar with renewable energy, RE technologies installed in their countries, RE standards for equipment and installations, and RE enforcement tools, who can liaise with donors and potential investors to ensure the compliance of equipment imported and installed meets adopted local standards that are aligned with best practices;
  • be familiar with and have experience with the repair, installation and maintenance of RE systems;
  • be retained through remuneration packages that are sufficiently attractive that are competitive to the actual market for renewable energy professionals in the region that would encourage them to provide their services over a sustained period of time;
  • have skills in liaising with local communities to monitor and evaluate their stewardship of RE assets, and their willingness to set up and manage O&M funds similar to what the outer islands in Tonga have accomplished. If possible, the O&M funds could also contribute to capital replacements of some of the RE systems components such as batteries.
2

Evaluation recommendation A.2 (to all PIC governments):  PIC governments should focus on creating and sustaining enabling conditions that would encourage regional RESCOs to set up local RE service centres that will strengthen local O&M skill sets and improve local access to standardized RE equipment. This would include:

  • full adoption of policies and standards that cover RE equipment, RE installation and operation and maintenance;
  • strengthening institutional arrangements for the continual review and amendments to RE equipment standards and installation;
  • continual support and strengthening of local staff to enforce policies and standards for RE equipment, installation and operation and maintenance;
  • support and monitoring of local financing mechanisms that will ensure the availability of funds for the capital replacement of RE systems.
3

Evaluation recommendation B.1 Proposal 1 (to UNDP and SPREP):  Continued assistance to PICs is required to guide scaled-up low carbon development (that includes RE and EE) that can be effectively delivered through a regional approach with a grouping of PICs with similar energy market conditions. The evaluator also notes that there are a number of country-driven CCM GEF-projects in the region including Cook Islands, Marshall Islands (ADMIRE), Samoa (IMPRESS), Tonga (OIREP), and Tuvalu (FASNETT) that are focusing on the development of low carbon initiatives. A regional project could serve as a technical assistance facility to support improvements to the sustainability of low carbon deployments in a number of PICs including:

  • scaled-up and regularized training of O&M at the community level including RE systems maintenance in the local education curriculum. There could be an emphasis on solar PV given the familiarity of the technology throughout the region but also with wind, biomass and hydropower projects as deemed appropriate;
  • assistance on measures to stabilize the grid as RE penetration approaches 90 to 100% to PICs where there are no such grid investment plans. The evaluator notes that a number of PICs have either planned or are already receiving this nature of assistance;
  • replication of the development of community-based RESCOs such as the “incorporated societies” demonstrated in Tonga. This would include working with communities towards their adoption of a financial mechanism (with monies saved from offsetting fossil fuel usage) that contributes to a community-based sustainable O&M fund that would also provide funding towards RE systems replacement costs;
  • networking workshops for national low carbon champions and community RE operators to share experiences on O&M and national information dissemination, to keep current with best international practices, and for exposure to the application of new RE technologies (that may include newer and more efficient models of solar PV panels and wind turbines, new battery technology, and EE practices);  a lower number of PICs than PIGGAREP to reduce the administrative and operational costs related to travel, communications, and the additional support required to overcome challenges of the lack of human resource capacity to implement in activities in very small markets.  A lower number of PICs than PIGGAREP would increase the attention being given to each PIC, and increase the effectiveness of the aid being provided by a future regional project.

 


[1]

4

Evaluation recommendation C.1 Project implementation teams need to carefully prepare procurement packages for goods or services to ensure that the desired goods or services are procured and that risks of a prolonged tendering process are minimized: The evaluator is flagging this lesson based on the Project experience in the procurement of services and equipment to implement the biogas power generation project in Piu village in Samoa (Outcome 1.6 on PIGGAREP+).

5

Evaluation recommendation C.2 Support Lesson 2: Regional projects providing soft assistance and technical support require streamlined institutional arrangements for efficient delivery. In the case of PIGGAREP, coordination of country activities was dependent on National Project coordinators or NPCs. While the PIGGAREP ProDoc supported the employment of project-supported and paid positions for NPCs, PIGGAREP NPCs were not paid from Project resources to identify opportunities for PIGGAREP assistance, and to provide monitoring reports of GEF funded activities. All NPCs interviewed had stated that these additional and unpaid PIGGAREP obligations became an additional burden to them, all of whom had already high workloads for Government agencies or utilities that they worked for. A means of overcoming this issue would have been stronger support from the PIGGAREP PMO to assist in preparing the project activity summaries required to qualify for PIGGAREP support. Within PIGGAREP, an international CTA employed part or full-time could have provided this assistance for PAS preparation. This would have had an impact on streamlining the delivery of identified PIGGAREP activities, opportunities, approvals and monitoring reports, possibly precluding the need for some of the PIGGAREP Project extensions.

6

Evaluation recommendation C.3 Lesson 3: All GEF climate change mitigation projects should employ a part time Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) to provide oversight to project management and technical guidance. This evaluator has said this in several other evaluations that GEF projects are an opportunity for developing countries to access international expertise as well as to provide oversight in management and quality control. Unfortunately for the PIGGAREP project, this was not realized until after the midterm evaluation of 2010. A part time International Chief Technical Advisor with a background in renewable energy development would have provided the PIGGAREP Project with:

  • oversight to the implementation of PIGGAREP with knowledge of best practices globally on GEF projects, especially between 2007 and 2010 when PIGGAREP was experiencing slow delivery;
  • advice on approaches to PICs on strategic development of their renewable energy programs based on ongoing developments. To some extent, this was achieved by the CTA to provide strategic barrier removal advice in 2012;
  • assisting the PIGGAREP Project manager in the preparation and collection of reports from NPCs including PASs and activity monitoring reports (see Lesson 2, Para 168); and
  • procurement of goods and services not typically available locally (see Lesson 1, Para 167).
1. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation A.1 (to all PIC governments):  Make annual budgetary allocations for retaining a pool of key technical personnel for supporting sustained operation and maintenance of existing RE systems, and efforts to fiscally and technically plan for RE capital replacements

This pool of personnel would:

  • be familiar with renewable energy, RE technologies installed in their countries, RE standards for equipment and installations, and RE enforcement tools, who can liaise with donors and potential investors to ensure the compliance of equipment imported and installed meets adopted local standards that are aligned with best practices;
  • be familiar with and have experience with the repair, installation and maintenance of RE systems;
  • be retained through remuneration packages that are sufficiently attractive that are competitive to the actual market for renewable energy professionals in the region that would encourage them to provide their services over a sustained period of time;
  • have skills in liaising with local communities to monitor and evaluate their stewardship of RE assets, and their willingness to set up and manage O&M funds similar to what the outer islands in Tonga have accomplished. If possible, the O&M funds could also contribute to capital replacements of some of the RE systems components such as batteries.
Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/07]

The management agrees in principle with the recommendation. It is of primary importance that the financial resources have been mobilized to secure personnel to ensure sustainability of project activities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Assist in developing O & M work plan and budget with PIC governments to ensure sustainability of existing RE systems.
[Added: 2017/01/07] [Last Updated: 2017/12/20]
SPRE/UNDP 2017/04 Completed Assisted in developing O & M work plan and budget with PIC governments to ensure sustainability of existing RE systems. History
2. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation A.2 (to all PIC governments):  PIC governments should focus on creating and sustaining enabling conditions that would encourage regional RESCOs to set up local RE service centres that will strengthen local O&M skill sets and improve local access to standardized RE equipment. This would include:

  • full adoption of policies and standards that cover RE equipment, RE installation and operation and maintenance;
  • strengthening institutional arrangements for the continual review and amendments to RE equipment standards and installation;
  • continual support and strengthening of local staff to enforce policies and standards for RE equipment, installation and operation and maintenance;
  • support and monitoring of local financing mechanisms that will ensure the availability of funds for the capital replacement of RE systems.
Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/07]

The management agrees in principle with the recommendation SPREP will continue to support Pacific Island Countries to promote local based RE services

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Regular meetings with PIC to promote local based RE services
[Added: 2017/01/07] [Last Updated: 2017/12/20]
SPREP 2017/04 Completed History
3. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation B.1 Proposal 1 (to UNDP and SPREP):  Continued assistance to PICs is required to guide scaled-up low carbon development (that includes RE and EE) that can be effectively delivered through a regional approach with a grouping of PICs with similar energy market conditions. The evaluator also notes that there are a number of country-driven CCM GEF-projects in the region including Cook Islands, Marshall Islands (ADMIRE), Samoa (IMPRESS), Tonga (OIREP), and Tuvalu (FASNETT) that are focusing on the development of low carbon initiatives. A regional project could serve as a technical assistance facility to support improvements to the sustainability of low carbon deployments in a number of PICs including:

  • scaled-up and regularized training of O&M at the community level including RE systems maintenance in the local education curriculum. There could be an emphasis on solar PV given the familiarity of the technology throughout the region but also with wind, biomass and hydropower projects as deemed appropriate;
  • assistance on measures to stabilize the grid as RE penetration approaches 90 to 100% to PICs where there are no such grid investment plans. The evaluator notes that a number of PICs have either planned or are already receiving this nature of assistance;
  • replication of the development of community-based RESCOs such as the “incorporated societies” demonstrated in Tonga. This would include working with communities towards their adoption of a financial mechanism (with monies saved from offsetting fossil fuel usage) that contributes to a community-based sustainable O&M fund that would also provide funding towards RE systems replacement costs;
  • networking workshops for national low carbon champions and community RE operators to share experiences on O&M and national information dissemination, to keep current with best international practices, and for exposure to the application of new RE technologies (that may include newer and more efficient models of solar PV panels and wind turbines, new battery technology, and EE practices);  a lower number of PICs than PIGGAREP to reduce the administrative and operational costs related to travel, communications, and the additional support required to overcome challenges of the lack of human resource capacity to implement in activities in very small markets.  A lower number of PICs than PIGGAREP would increase the attention being given to each PIC, and increase the effectiveness of the aid being provided by a future regional project.

 


[1]

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/07]

The management agrees in principle with the recommendation. This recommendation will be taken on board by SPREP to seek opportunity in developing future regional/sub regional projects.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop future regional /sub regional RE projects
[Added: 2018/09/11] [Last Updated: 2019/12/29]
SPREP 2016/04 Completed New projects have been proposed and approved History
4. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation C.1 Project implementation teams need to carefully prepare procurement packages for goods or services to ensure that the desired goods or services are procured and that risks of a prolonged tendering process are minimized: The evaluator is flagging this lesson based on the Project experience in the procurement of services and equipment to implement the biogas power generation project in Piu village in Samoa (Outcome 1.6 on PIGGAREP+).

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/07]

The Management agrees with the recommendation procurement were technically challenging especially on the issue of interested bidders from the region.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Pass this recommendation to agencies developing future RE project
[Added: 2017/01/07] [Last Updated: 2018/09/11]
SPREP/other agencies 2017/12 Completed The next RE project will be implemented by the Asian Development Bank and possibly in collaboration with SPREP History
5. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation C.2 Support Lesson 2: Regional projects providing soft assistance and technical support require streamlined institutional arrangements for efficient delivery. In the case of PIGGAREP, coordination of country activities was dependent on National Project coordinators or NPCs. While the PIGGAREP ProDoc supported the employment of project-supported and paid positions for NPCs, PIGGAREP NPCs were not paid from Project resources to identify opportunities for PIGGAREP assistance, and to provide monitoring reports of GEF funded activities. All NPCs interviewed had stated that these additional and unpaid PIGGAREP obligations became an additional burden to them, all of whom had already high workloads for Government agencies or utilities that they worked for. A means of overcoming this issue would have been stronger support from the PIGGAREP PMO to assist in preparing the project activity summaries required to qualify for PIGGAREP support. Within PIGGAREP, an international CTA employed part or full-time could have provided this assistance for PAS preparation. This would have had an impact on streamlining the delivery of identified PIGGAREP activities, opportunities, approvals and monitoring reports, possibly precluding the need for some of the PIGGAREP Project extensions.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/07]

Agree with the recommendation and lesson learnt for future regional projects for RE to have an international CTA employed

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Ensure Future RE projects have an international CTA employed
[Added: 2018/09/11]
SPREP & UNDP 2016/12 Completed Included in project deign and budget of future RE projects
6. Recommendation:

Evaluation recommendation C.3 Lesson 3: All GEF climate change mitigation projects should employ a part time Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) to provide oversight to project management and technical guidance. This evaluator has said this in several other evaluations that GEF projects are an opportunity for developing countries to access international expertise as well as to provide oversight in management and quality control. Unfortunately for the PIGGAREP project, this was not realized until after the midterm evaluation of 2010. A part time International Chief Technical Advisor with a background in renewable energy development would have provided the PIGGAREP Project with:

  • oversight to the implementation of PIGGAREP with knowledge of best practices globally on GEF projects, especially between 2007 and 2010 when PIGGAREP was experiencing slow delivery;
  • advice on approaches to PICs on strategic development of their renewable energy programs based on ongoing developments. To some extent, this was achieved by the CTA to provide strategic barrier removal advice in 2012;
  • assisting the PIGGAREP Project manager in the preparation and collection of reports from NPCs including PASs and activity monitoring reports (see Lesson 2, Para 168); and
  • procurement of goods and services not typically available locally (see Lesson 1, Para 167).
Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/07]

The management agrees with the recommendation. Future GEF project will factor in the cost of CTA for the project implementation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Future GEF project includes budget for CTA
[Added: 2018/09/11]
UNDP & SPREP 2016/06 Completed UNDP RE projects include budget for Consultants for Technical expertise in RE

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