Project summary

For over a decade, UNSW Engineering students and staff have helped address the basic communications and lighting needs for health and education in remote Vanuatu villages, using solar electricity.

Project outcomes

The UNSW Énergie Renouvelable project in Vanuatu has been active on the Tanna Island since 2007. To date, UNSW students and staff  have installed solar-powered lighting and phone charging facilities in 14 rural health aid posts, updated renewable energy services for three schools, worked on a mini-grid to provide energy security to Imaki village, and provided locals with a solar power user guide in Bislama and English.  

After the devastating Tropical Cyclone Pam, in March 2015, UNSW teams sought to address both communications and lighting needs in remote villages without electricity.

In 2019 the team successfully completed a survey of geothermal energy sites and assessed damaged to a mini hydro energy system. UNSW is grateful for the support of its students in this project from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s New Colombo Plan.

Make an impact

To find out more about UNSWERV and how you can get involved, contact Dr. Richard Corkish.


Tanna Island, Vanuatu 

27,000 population

7.5 hour journey from UNSW, Sydney

View on Google Maps

Project timeline

2007 - present

United Nations Development Goals

SDG 3 – Good health and Well-being
SDG 4 – Quality Education
SDG 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy
SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production