Islands Empowered by Renewable Energy
Leaders gathered for the Third Small Islands Developing States Conference in Apia,
Samoa on 1-4 September. (Photograph: IISD)
The world’s small island developing states (SIDS) have rallied behind renewable
energy as a means to cut their fuel bills as well as help to ward off devastating
climate change. At the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing
States, leaders and policy makers from the Pacific, the Caribbean and other island
regions reaffirmed their commitment to cooperation on the energy transition to ensure
a sustainable future.
Renewable energy and how to accelerate its deployment on islands were prominent
themes throughout the discussions in Apia, Samoa, which highlighted strategies for
advancing sustainable development for SIDS. The International Renewable Energy Agency
(IRENA) presented research and analysis underlining the viability, cost-effectiveness
and socio-economic benefits of renewable power, heating/cooling and (increasingly)
transport solutions for islands.
Samoa: A wind turbine being lowered to anti-cyclone mode
Samoa’s Prime Minister, Hon. Tuilaepa Aiono Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, inaugurated
a new wind power site on 29 August, featuring innovative retractable turbines to
withstand serious tropical storms. The facility, with initial power-generating capacity
of 550 kilowatts from two turbines and room to expand to 10 turbines, has been developed
with support from the United Arab Emirates.
On the eve of the 1-4 September conference, IRENA co-organised the one-day Renewable
Energy Forum with the governments of Samoa and New Zealand, producing A Path to Prosperity: Renewable energy for islands
, a booklet
of case studies submitted by SIDS and development partners. The intergovernmental
agency also released a report on island tourism
applications and a package of work on ocean energy
The World Tourism Organization (UNTWO) made a commitment with IRENA to promote renewable
energy use on islands. UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai (at left in photograph)
and IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin signed a joint statement on 2 September
paving the way for cooperation with hotels and tourism authorities to encourage
investments in solutions like solar water heaters and sea-water air conditioners,
along with renewable power generation.
The World Tourism Organization and IRENA call on hotels to use renewable energy
“Investment by island hotels is vital to demonstrating the business case for
renewable energy, which is essential to addressing the burden of costly fossil fuels
that inhibits islands’ economic and social development,” said Mr. Amin.
(See UNWTO-IRENA press release
Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General, International Renewable Energy
Agency (IRENA); Andrew Jacobs, Head, EU Delegation to the Pacific;
and Elizabeth Thompson, Senior Advisor, Sustainable Energy for
All (SE4ALL), share a moment before the opening of the Partnerships Dialogue on
Sustainable Energy. (Photograph: IISD)
Panel (L-R): Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC;
Naoko Ishii, Chief Executive Officer, Global Environment Facility;
Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General, IRENA; Andrew Jacobs,
Head, EU Delegation to the Pacific; Simona-Mirela Miculescu, Permanent
Representative of Romania to the UN in New York; Secretariat; Moderator Elizabeth
Thompson, Senior Advisor, SE4ALL; and Zaheer Allam,
Australian Urban Design Research Centre (Photograph: IISD)
- 10 Sep 2014
As Paris prepares for its make-or-break Climate Conference in December 2015, renewable
energy is taking centre stage. IRENA?s report REthinking Energy, presented
at the Senate of France this week, underlines that renewables must be part of any
solution to avoid catastrophic climate change.
- 8 Sep 2014
Speeding up the adoption of renewable energy technologies is the most feasible route
to reduce carbon emissions and avoid catastrophic climate change, says a new report
from IRENA. REthinking Energy reviews progress in the transition to a sustainable
energy future, focusing on the global power sector.
- 3 Sep 2014
On the occasion of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing
States, the Government of Samoa, the Government of New Zealand and the International
Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) co-organised the Renewable Energy Forum.
- 2 Sep 2014
IRENA and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) have joined forces to promote renewable
energy use on islands. In a joint statement at the Third UN Conference on Small
Island Developing States (SIDS) in Samoa, they resolved to encourage investment
in cost-effective solutions that would reduce islands? reliance on carbon-emitting
- 14 Aug 2014
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) announced that it would conduct a
week of training on energy data and policy mechanisms to support the implementation
of renewable energy targets. The training, held at the SPC regional office in Suva,
Fiji, is being given in partnership with IRENA.
- 24 July 2014
Bioenergy technologies can transform rural development across Southeast Asia, extending
modern electricity services and reducing carbon emissions. But countries must address
a complex array of policy, technical, institutional and financial challenges.
- 27 Jun 2014
The transition to a sustainable energy future will require, on average, $550 billion
investment in renewable energy per year until 2030, the International Renewable
Energy Agency said at the Renewable Energy Finance Forum (REFF Wall Street) in New
York this week.
- 26 Jun 2014
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has recently welcomed three additional
Permanent Representatives, bringing the number of Permanent Representatives accredited
to the Agency to 18.
- 16 Jun 2014
Off-grid renewable energy can expand clean, reliable and cost-effective electricity
access in rural areas, the International Renewable Energy Agency said at a conference
in Manila today.
- 5 Jun 2014
The world faces an important energy choice, according to a new report launched by
the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in New York today.
- 3 Jun 2014
The International Renewable Energy Agency held the 7th meeting of its Council in
Abu Dhabi with a record number of country representatives.
- 2 Jun 2014
As renewable energy becomes widespread and more affordable, policies must be continually
adapted in order to keep up with the dynamic market, says a new report released
by the International Renewable Energy Agency on 1 June.
- 29 May 2014
The International Renewable Energy Agency has today launched a new online forum
named the ‘IRENA Community’
- 28 May 2014
The International Renewable Energy Agency has further expanded its system of Permanent
Representatives accredited to the Agency.
- 12 May 2014
The Clean Energy Solutions Center, an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial,
and the International Renewable Energy Agency have formalized a collaboration that
will help accelerate the global deployment of renewable energy. The jointly-led
Renewable Energy Policy Advice Network (REPAN) will leverage both organizations?
resources by coordinating a global network of experts and practitioners to help
countries design and implement renewable energy policies and programs.
- 11 May 2014
In 2013, approximately 6.5 million people were already employed in the renewable
energy industry worldwide, a new study by the International Renewable Energy Agency
- 5 May 2014
The International Renewable Energy Agency has received widespread support for two
action-oriented initiatives, Africa Clean Energy Corridor and Small Island Developing
States (SIDS) ? Lighthouses, the Agency presented at Abu Dhabi Ascent, the preparatory
meeting for the UN Climate Summit this September in New York.
- 3 May 2014
The International Renewable Energy Agency is advocating action oriented-initiatives
to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy at the Abu Dhabi Ascent.
- 17 April 2014
The International Renewable Energy Agency hosted the first engagement of the Agency?s
system of permanent representatives accredited to the Agency.
- 15 April 2014
The International Renewable Energy Agency reinforced the call to action from the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to limit global temperature increase
and avert catastrophic climate change in a statement issued today.
- 11 March 2014
The International Renewable Energy Agency and Arizona State University (ASU) signed
an agreement this week to develop a solar certification programme for West Africa.
- 24 February 2014
The International Renewable Energy Agency has gained several additional permanent
diplomatic representatives in a succession of ceremonies taking place over the last
several days at the Agency?s headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
- 23 January 2014
The International Renewable Energy Agency wrapped up a week of high-level meetings
and deliberations in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, further strengthening the international
commitment to a sustainable energy future.
- 22 January 2014
The first conference ever on the theme of global employment in the renewable energy
sector, the IRENA Renewable Energy Jobs Conference was held in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
- 21 January 2014
The International Renewable Energy Agency today launched a pioneering new report
on employment in the renewable energy sector, Renewable Energy and Jobs.
- 20 January 2014
The global renewable energy share can reach and exceed 30 per cent by 2030 at no
extra cost, the International Renewable Energy Agency says in a report, ?REmap 2030,?
that was published today.
- 19 January 2014
The International Renewable Energy Agency and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development
(ADFD) today announced approximately $41 million in concessional loans for renewable
energy projects in developing countries.
- 18 January 2014
Heads of State and Ministers from over 150 countries as well as representatives
from 120 international organisations gathered in Abu Dhabi today for the opening
of the Fourth Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency.
- 17 January 2014
Energy ministers and delegates from 19 countries committed to the creation of an
ambitious initiative, the Africa Clean Energy Corridor, at a meeting in Abu Dhabi,
convened by the International Renewable Energy Agency.
- 14 January 2014
Renewable energy is transforming the global energy system, the International Renewable
Energy Agency will highlight at the Agency?s Fourth Assembly, setting the stage
for this year?s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).