Launched at the 2014 Climate Summit, the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative supports the development of a global framework for energy transition on islands. By 2020, it aims to:
- Ensure all participating islands develop renewable energy roadmaps;
- Mobilise USD 500 million;
- Deploy 120 MW of renewable energy capacity.
The Initiative facilitates coordinated support for islands to transform their predominantly fossil-based power systems to renewable energy through partnerships with public, private, intergovernmental, and non-governmental stakeholder organisations. Island partners gain access to:
- Policy and regulatory advisory services;
- Technical expertise in planning, identifying, structuring and executing projects;
- Financing for capacity building, policy and regulatory design, early-stage transactions, and project finance;
- A network to share information, knowledge and practices.
IRENA coordinates the initiative and facilitates several activities that bring islands and partners together to support all operational steps in the energy transition, from resource assessments and planning to project development support. This enables the smart deployment of renewables in the power, heating, cooling and transportation sectors and allows the sharing of knowledge regarding common challenges and best practices.
Grid studies and the power sector transformation
Grid studies support planning for the power sector transformation. Results of the grid studies allow the evaluation of costs and other efforts required to deploy a flexible power system with the capacity to host the planned shares of VRE. On islands, grid studies strengthen the coordination between long-term, policy-driven renewable energy integration targets and their actual deployment in power systems. This means policy makers can plan more accurately for resources required to attain envisioned targets. They also allow power utilities to identify the most suitable technical measures to host the planned VRE shares, without affecting the system’s stability and reliability.
IRENA Project Navigator is an online platform providing comprehensive, easily accessible, and practical information, tools and guidance to assist in the development of bankable renewable energy projects. In particular, the Project Navigator has introduced a component to assist project developers in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Within this islands module, the Project Navigator will help islands assess and address project development issues to enable stronger, sustainable development and smart integration of renewables.
The Sustainable Energy Marketplace is a virtual platform that gathers project developers, financiers, service and technology suppliers to work together to realize projects related to renewable energy sources. The Marketplace provides a visibility to renewable energy projects and facilitate investment opportunities.
IRENA and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) have collaborated to create a joint Project Facility to finance transformative and replicable renewable energy projects in developing countries. The facility involves IRENA selecting and recommending promising renewable energy projects in developing countries. ADFD then offers soft (concessional) loans to these projects worth USD 350 million over seven annual cycles. The first selection cycle commenced in November 2012.
The Renewables Readiness Assessment (RRA) is a comprehensive tool for assessing the conditions existing in a country for the development and deployment of renewables along with the actions required to improve those conditions. RRAs for island countries: Antigua & Barbuda, Fiji, Grenada, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Vanuatu