Accelerating access to renewable energy and jobs for remote Papua New Guinea communities

Accelerating access to renewable energy and jobs for remote Papua New Guinea communities

Off-Grid Renewable Energy Partnerships Papua New Guinea Resources and Clean Energy Active



Partner contribution

$ 515,800

DFAT contribution

$ 609,500

Icon Total Funds

Total Value

$ 1,125,300

Start: February 2024 - End: February 2026


Australian Government

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade works with international partners and other countries to tackle global challenges, increase trade and investment opportunities, protect international rules, keep our region stable and help Australians overseas.


Sola PayGo

Sola PayGo is a solar company dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and communities, with reliable, affordable, and accessible solar lighting and power solutions.


MiBank delivers affordable savings, loans and insurance products through a network of agents and branches across Papua New Guinea.

About this partnership

A partnership to accelerate access to renewable energy and jobs for remote Papua New Guinea communities.


It is estimated that only 13 percent of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) 8.6 million people have access to grid-connected electricity (World Bank, 2021).

This means that the majority of PNG’s rural and remote communities rely on inadequate, unaffordable and unsustainable energy solutions, such as kerosene, fire, candles, small generators, and small battery driven devices, like torches. These have the potential to contribute to climate change as well as presenting challenges such as access to and collection of fuel, growing household expense, low-quality lighting, and health issues caused by pollution.

High-quality solar energy solutions, which are widely recognised as an effective, renewable and non-polluting option, are expensive and beyond the financial reach of most PNG communities. While inexpensive generic alternatives are available, their lifespan is limited, which adds additional household costs as they need to be replaced regularly.

Sola Paygo developed an innovative business model through a previous BPP partnership, which enabled communities across PNG to access affordable and reliable solar energy solutions using a pay-as-you-go system. However, the capacity for the team to reach particularly remote communities limited their ability to scale and having a local presence was identified as a potential solution to this.

About the initiative

This unique partnership between Sola Paygo, MiBank and the Australian Government will increase take up of solar energy in remote communities while also enabling local community members, particularly women, to gain employment to promote renewable energy solutions and maintain local services through technical support.

It will do this by:

  • establishing a scalable local community model that provides:
    • income generation opportunities for small to medium enterprises, with a focus on those led by women, by establishing permanent local Solar Energy Promoters (SEPs) who provide tailored and local support services.
    • trained technical experts at the local level.
    • increased access to purchasing and payment mechanisms outside the current Sola Paygo model.
  • developing a Solar Loan Solution to make it easier and more affordable for consumers, which can then be applied across other regions beyond the funding period.
  • providing education and awareness programs to improve local communities’ financial literacy.

This 18-month partnership is projected to benefit up to 4,000 households and up to 28,000 individuals, including up to 12,000 women, outside Alotau and Kimbe. These communities currently have no grid-connected electricity.

In addition, the partnership aims to enable women to be appointed to local roles, across sales and training, providing upskilling, leadership and income generation opportunities for these women.

Key contributions from partners

  • Sola Paygo will project manage this initiative working closely with all partners, and local communities to implement the new business model.
  • MiBank will improve the efficiency of the initiative’s deployment.
  • The Australian Government will contribute catalytic funding to strengthen social and commercial impacts. It will also enable partners to create new connections within its extensive network, provide insight and guidance on gender equality, build capacity on social impact reporting and advise on standards and practices for safeguarding, as well as support with communications to enable national and global recognition.

This partnership was selected through the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) Call for Partnerships to Support Off-Grid Renewable Energy in the Pacific and Timor-Leste.


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