Small island developing states

30 April 2018.

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Small, Strong and Resilient

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are likely to be the first affected by climate change, but in their determination to strengthen resilience and embark on a sustainable economic future they are deploying renewable energy with support from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

SIDS are on the frontlines of climate change. Despite having done little to cause it, the effects of a warming planet are already beginning to adversely affect livelihoods and security for millions who call islands around the world home. Yet islands are nothing if not resilient, and their collective commitments to renewable energy are proof of their desire to respond assertively.

Blessed with abundant renewable energy resources most, if not all islands, have an opportunity to meet their domestic energy needs through a combination of renewable energy technologies. With the costs of renewables technologies falling all the time, a unique opportunity exists for them to reduce expensive fuel imports and accelerate the transition to domestically sourced wind, solar and geo- thermal – lowering electricity costs, improving energy access, creating jobs, and boosting energy security.

IRENA launched the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative at the 2014 Climate Summit in New York, providing a global framework for the energy transition on islands. The Initiative facilitates SIDS resilience through coordinated support for islands to transform their predominantly fossil based power systems to renewable energy.

The transition efforts of the current 36 SIDS from the Caribbean, Pacific, and Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and the South China Sea regions that have joined the Initiative are supported through partnerships with governmental, intergovernmental, non-governmental, and private stakeholder organisations. Indeed they may be small, but these 36 islands are strong and demonstrating incredible resilience in the face of climate change.

COOK ISLAND RESIDENTS ARE INCREASING THEIR EARNINGS FROM THE FISHING INDUSTRY THANKS TO RELIABLE REFRIGERATION MADE POSSIBLE BY RENEWABLE ENERGY. © JOLIA SEQUEIRA
Left: IN MAURITIUS, ANNUAL COST SAVINGS POTENTIAL FROM ENERGY EFFICIENCY MEASURES IN INDUSTRIAL SECTORS IS EXPECTED TO TOTAL USD 3 MILLION PER YEAR. © BILDAGENTUR ZOONAR GMBH | Right: RENEWABLE ENERGY IS IMPROVING LIVING CONDITIONS AND LIVELIHOODS IN FIJI, WHERE IT IS PROVIDING FAMILIES WITH LIGHTING, AIR CONDITIONING, DESALINATION AND REFRIGERATION. © ANGELO GIAMPICCOLO
THE FIRST-EVER RENEWABLE ENERGY-POWERED SEAWATER AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM ON BORA BORA IS SAVING ONE HOTEL NEARLY USD 750,000 ANNUALLY IN ELECTRICITY BILLS. © WILAR
IN FIJI, RENEWABLE ENERGY HAS INCREASED ELECTRICITY SUPPLY FROM AN AVERAGE OF 15-18 HOURS TO 24 HOURS PER DAY. © RAFAEL BEN-ARI
POWER GENERATION FROM RENEWABLES WILL MEET THE ANNUAL NEEDS OF 12,000 RESIDENTS OF LE PORT CITY, REUNION ISLAND – A THIRD OF THE CITY’S POPULATION. © KARINE LAZARUS
IN THE VILLAGE OF LA CABIRMA IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, FAMILIES SPEND ON AVERAGE 30% LESS ON ENERGY THANKS TO RENEWABLE ENERGY. © FELIX LIPOV
MORE THAN 2 GW OF RENEWABLE ENERGY IS ALREADY DEPLOYED ON ISLANDS AND AT LEAST 6 GW OF ADDITIONAL CAPACITY IS PLANNED UNDER THE PARIS AGREEMENT. © MAXKATEUSA
RENEWABLE ENERGY HAS REDUCED POWER GENERATION COSTS IN CABO VERDE BY APPROXIMATELY 20% AND REDUCED OIL IMPORTS BY UP TO 20,000 TONNES. © SALVADOR AZNAR
SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES (SIDS) CONTRIBUTE LESS THAN 1% TO THE WORLD’S GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS, BUT ARE FIRST TO EXPERIENCE THE WORST AND MOST DEVASTATING IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE. © SEMORK
IRENA’S SIDS LIGHTHOUSES INITIATIVE AIMS TO MOBILISE USD 500 MILLION AND INSTALL 120 MW OF RENEWABLE ENERGY CAPACITY ON ISLANDS BY 2020. © PHOTOMAXX