29 October 2018

Small Island Developing States and Energy Transition

Accelerating energy transition, strengthening climate resilience and boosting sustainable development goals are the priorities that the SIDS (Small Island Developing States) set for themselves  with the initiative Lighthouse 2.0. The 35 SIDS comprise states in all the continents and seas: Pacific Islands, Caribbean Islands, and those in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean and South China Seas.

Confronted by climate impacts hitting hard, the SIDS are highly motivated to move onto a low-carbon development trajectory. They have strongly advocated for more action, also with regard to the security threat of climate change, which for many of them is an existential threat. Domestically, they have become the frontrunners of the new low carbon economy with impressive numbers of newly installed renewable energy capacity.

Through the Lighthouse 2.0 the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) supported such efforts and solar and wind power capacity saw a tremendous expansion with 250 and 50 megawatts respectively. More than $500 million was invested into renewables between 2014 and 2017.

By 2020 the ambition is to achieve 100 megawatts of new solar photovoltaic capacity, 20 megawatts of new wind power along with hydropower,  geothermal and ocean energy projects  with $500 million invested. IRENA Director General, Dr. Adnan Z. Amin also a high-level speaker in the  2019 Planetary Security Conference, emphasises  the achievement of the targets in the previous triennial ahead of schedule and praised  the leadership showed in harnessing their renewable energy potential.

The Caribbean islands and the topic of energy transition will feature as one of the three theme topics of the February 2019 Planetary Security Conference.