Aimed at government officials, public finance institutions, international organisations, utilities, research centres, and other Lighthouse Initiative partners, the workshop will seek updates on the projects identified and discussed in 2015; identify key challenges and barriers in each stage of project development and discuss ways to overcome and prevent them in the future; identify new project opportunities and ideas, and explore practical steps to develop them into bankable proposals; and conduct an in-depth discussion on renewable energy financing that goes beyond the traditional direct funding approach.
Islands, disconnected from mainland electricity grids, are vulnerable to price fluctuations for imported fossil fuels upon which they are reliant for their energy. But small island developing states (SIDS) can overcome such challenges, as well as play their part in the global effort to mitigate climate change, through renewable energy deployment. Although SIDS are generally not short of donor funding, such opportunities are often unmet with its potential due to the lack of an investment-ready project pipeline. At the same time, public finance institutions are trying to find more efficient ways to leverage private investment in SIDS, moving beyond traditional financial instruments such as grants and concessional loans.
In July 2015, the U.S. Government, the Pacific Community (SPC), and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) co-hosted a renewable energy workshop in Honolulu, Hawaii to help accelerate the energy transformation of Pacific islands. Fourteen Pacific island countries and territories (PICTs) and the State of Hawaii were represented at the event, from senior officials to representatives from energy ministries, power utilities, regulators, the private sector, and development partners.
Also in August 2015, the Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOEJ), and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) organized a workshop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where seventeen SIDS and eight international organisations were represented. Discussions and bilateral meetings provided an avenue for SIDS and development partners to identify main financing options available and accessible to SIDS, and for public finance institutions to learn about renewable energy project opportunities on these islands.
In early August 2016, the Green Climate Fund held a workshop in Suva, Fiji with a focus on developing a credible project pipeline to feed into the fund over the coming months.
This workshop, organized by the U.S. Departments of State (State) and Energy (DOE), Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOEJ), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Pacific Community (SPC), in collaboration with Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) is designed to provide greater clarity on the process for accessing resources from international financial institutions for renewable energy programmes and projects.
The objectives of the workshop are to:
- Conduct a status update on and review of projects identified and discussed in 2015 Identify key challenges and barriers in each stage of project development and discuss ways to both overcome and prevent them in the future
- Identify new project opportunities and ideas and explore practical steps to develop them into bankable proposals
- Conduct an in-depth discussion on renewable energy financing that goes beyond the traditional direct funding approach
To show what can be done, Elon Musk just converted the island of American Samoa from diesel generators to renewable energy. Tesla and Solar City created a microgrid of solar energy panels and batteries on the island.
Flooding of island states has taken an economic toll and it has already created refugees with many more are expected in the years to come.
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