Renewables critical for island economies: IRENA Report

July 3, 2015 |

In Brussels, International Renewable Energy Agency released three reports today for Fiji, the Marshall Islands and Vanuatu, concluding that a combination of solar, wind, geothermal, marine, biomass and biofuel could meet domestic energy needs while decreasing electricity costs, increasing energy access, and boosting energy independence.

Renewables Readiness Assessments offer a holistic evaluation of conditions for renewable energy deployment in a country and outline the actions necessary to further improve these conditions. Since 2011, more than 20 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific Islands have undertaken the RRA process with IRENA to accelerate the domestic deployment of renewable technologies.

“The development of local renewable resources in these island nations would decrease their dependency on fuel imports and reduce risks associated with oil price volatility,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “The falling costs of renewable energy offers them an opportunity to rethink their energy strategies, develop policies and build institutions that would create jobs, bring power to those currently without and deliver more reliable electricity services, all while combatting climate change.”

Vanuatu’s government has created a National Energy Roadmap, which aims to increase the share of renewables in the nation’s energy mix from 43 per cent today to 63 per cent by 2030.  The Marshall Islands is rich in solar and wind potential, but, like Vanuatu, depends heavily on fossil fuel imports. After declaring a state of economic emergency following a 2008 fuel price spike, the government enacted the National Energy Policy and the Energy Action Plan, which aim to improve lives through renewable energy deployment.

Fiji also depends heavily on imported petroleum-based fuels; its National Energy Policy finds that it could feasibly achieve 100 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, but reaching this target will require more action.

Download the Vanuatu RRA.

Download the Marshall Islands RRA.

Download the Fiji RRA.

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Category: Research

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