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.
While it’s clear that strong renewable energy potential exists on islands, the pace of development is too slow. Continue reading Boosting Global Renewables, One Island at a Time
Today is Lima Climate Action Day at COP 20, dedicated to strengthening the global message on the need to increase both ambition and collaboration on climate change.
To highlight actions already being taken and encourage further cooperative climate agreements, the government of Peru hosted a special event highlighting various initiates including: IRENA’s SIDS Lighthouse Initiative, Renewable Energy 100, and the Climate Bond initiative.
IRENA’s Elizabeth Press spoke about IRENA’s effort to develop more renewable energy in small island developing states (SIDS). Disconnected from mainland electricity grids, islands are especially vulnerable to price fluctuations for imported fossil fuels. But renewable energy deployment can help.
“SIDS can not only play their part, but can also lead in the global effort to mitigate climate change through the rapid deployment of renewables” Elizabeth Press, Deputy Director, Innovation and Technology Centre
IRENA launched its SIDS Lighthouses Initiative at the Climate Summit in New York on 23 September 2014. By 2020, the Lighthouse Initiative aims to:
- Mobilize USD 500 million
- Deploy 100 MW of new solar PV
- Deploy 20 MW of new wind power
- Deploy small hydropower and geothermal energy and a number marine technology projects in progress
- Ensure all participating SIDS develop renewable energy road maps
By speeding the uptake of renewable energy on islands around the world, the Lighthouse Initiative will enable SIDS to lead by example on climate change. Maximising the use of indigenous, clean and plentiful renewable energy requires a structured, holistic approach to ensure long-term sustainability. The SIDS Lighthouse process will also capture invaluable lessons for the rest of the world.