At IRENA’s seventh Assembly, held in Abu Dhabi in January 2017, renewable energy projects from the Marshall Islands, Niger, Seychelles and the Solomon Islands were selected to receive a total of USD 44.5 million in funding through the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility. The Facility is a unique partnership between the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), set up to identify and partially finance promising renewable energy projects in developing countries.
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are on the frontlines of global climate change. Dependent on the ocean for their livelihoods, yet threatened by its rising and acidifying waters, this assemblage of the world’s lowest lying countries are some of the most outspoken and driven countries for decarbonisation and renewable energy.
Matching ambition with reality, however, is not simple, and SIDS need international support to accomplish their decarbonisation goals. But what does that support look like? What is needed to identify the best pathways for SIDS to achieve a renewable energy future and to establish the necessary frameworks for accessing financial support at the speed and scale required to transform their energy systems? Continue reading Finding a Way to Transform Energy on Islands→
As early supporters of renewable energy technologies Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have played a pivotal role in demonstrating the role of renewables in achieving the Sustainable Development and Climate agendas. They know that overcoming reliance on fossil fuels will increase both their resiliency and economic viability.
To assist SIDS in achieving their renewable energy goals, the Republic of the Maldives as the current chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), has just announced the creation of an Initiative for Renewable Island Energy (IRIE). The announcement came during the high-level session for the Global Climate Action Agenda at COP22. Its purpose will be to support SIDS in their implementation of the renewable energy and energy efficiency components of their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to implement the Paris Agreement. IRIE is setting an initial goal of mobilising at least $1 million in grant and concessionary financing by 2020 for concrete implementation on the ground. Continue reading Scaling up Renewable Energy on Small Island Developing States: The Initiative for Renewable Island Energy→
Islands from the Caribbean to the South China Sea are perhaps best known for their beautiful beaches, azure waters and rich sea life, but they are rich in something else as well: renewable energy. In most small island developing states (SIDS), a combination of renewable energy sources can meet the majority of domestic energy needs while decreasing electricity costs, increasing energy access, creating jobs and mitigating climate change.
What’s more, dramatically falling costs for renewable energy technology have made the switch to renewables more possible than ever before, resulting in many early success stories. In Cabo Verde for example, a wind project connected 50,000 citizens to the national electricity grid for the first time. In the Dominican Republic, 23 micro-hydropower plants are providing sustainable energy to more than 3,000 families across the country. St. Vincent and the Grenadines has also embarked on a large geothermal project, which could supply 75% of the islands electricity needs.
Like many island nations, Samoa possesses enough renewable energy potential to meet nearly 100% of its electricity demand in a sustainable, affordable way. According to a new study conducted by IRENA, a combination of hydro, solar and wind power can supply up to 93% of the island’s electricity demand if a few measures are incorporated into the existing power system and if water supply remains steady.
More than 20% of Samoa’s power needs are met with renewables. The rest is met with imported diesel fuels, which have a negative effect on domestic energy security and energy prices. IRENA’s study finds that a significant increase in renewable energy capacity is possible – including 14 megawatts (MW) of solar PV and an additional 5 MW of hydro – and can reduce the island nation’s dependence on costly fossil fuels, while helping achieve the government target of 100% renewables by 2017. If an additional 8 megawatts (MW) of biogas projects are implemented, then 100% renewable energy electricity would be achieved. Continue reading Renewables Can Supply Nearly 100% of Samoa’s Electricity Needs→
On 2 December at COP21 in Paris, IRENA and Germany hosted an event to celebrate and strengthen win-win renewable solutions for small island developing states (SIDS).
Island states are on the front lines of climate change, threatened by sea level rise, tidal surges as storms increase in intensity, and decreased food security as the ocean becomes increasingly acidified. By adopting transformative renewable energy strategies, island states demonstrate the kind of leadership required to deal with the climate crisis. Continue reading Renewable Energy: A Win-Win Solution for Islands→
“What is the utility business model after all? It’s making returns on assets. And moving from fossil fuels to renewables will increase the asset base and the actual value of the utility, increasing its revenues.”- Dutch Kuyper, Parker Ranch
In explaining the sound business case for transitioning traditional utilities to renewable energy, Dutch Kuyper of Hawai’i’s Parker Ranch reinforced the point that renewable energy is undeniably the way forward for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) during a workshop Transforming Pacific Island Energy Systems, held this week in Honolulu, Hawai’i.
Over 80 participants gathered to share experiences on increasing the use of renewable energy. Attendees consist of senior representatives from Pacific Island countries and territories energy departments, power utilities, energy regulators, academia, development partners and the private sector.
The workshop seeks to develop solutions for the region’s significant energy challenges by devising strategies to increase the capacity of Pacific island governments and design policies and regulations conducive to the accelerated deployment of renewable energy. It is organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in partnership with the U.S. Department of State and IRENA.
During the event, speakers discussed comprehensive approaches to energy sector transformation, including the importance of enabling legal and regulatory frameworks, capacity building, and financing. The workshop also examined different clean energy initiatives in Hawai’i.
Among other activities, IRENA presented a review of the policy frameworks of four Pacific Island countries and their readiness to deploy renewables. In its final session on 23 July, IRENA will present the outcome of the “Quickscan,” an assessment of the enabling framework for renewables, undertaken for the 12 Pacific island partners of the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative. One of Quickscan’s main features provides an à la carte menu for designing more effective programmes in support of the transition of SIDS towards a renewable energy future.
“This week’s workshop represents an important stepping stone on the road to the Paris climate talks. It contributes to the objectives of small island developing states to plan and implement their energy transition, and builds upon the recently adopted Martinique Action Plan.”-Emanuele Taibi, IRENA’s Islands Roadmaps Analyst
This workshop is part of a series of four conferences on renewables within the framework of the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative, which aims to advance a holistic approach to renewable energy deployment in island settings. The conferences are helping accelerate progress in preparation for the upcoming Paris climate talks (COP21) in December.
A previous islands event was held in Martinique in June, in cooperation with the Government of France and the Martinique local government. Its outcome document, the Martinique Action Plan, sets a clear agenda for next steps to accelerate deployment of renewable energy in SIDS. The next conference, supported by the Government of Japan, will bring participants to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to discuss developing and financing SIDS renewable energy projects. The fourth conference of this series will take place in South Africa on the sidelines of the South Africa International Renewable Energy Conference, supported by the Government of Germany.
And the final milestone for the islands and renewables series will take place at COP21 in Paris this December, during which IRENA, together with partners, will host an event showcasing progress made on the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative to date.