The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Lighthouses initiative (LHI) is a framework for action to support SIDS in the transformation from a predominantly fossil-based to a renewables-based and resilient energy system. The initiative addresses all elements of the energy transition, from policy and market frameworks to technology options and capacity building. Lighthouses brings together 36 SIDS as well as 22 other partners, including regional and international organisations, development agencies, private companies, research institutes and non-profit organisations. IRENA is the coordinator and facilitator of the initiative.

In the framework of the initiative, SIDS partners have gained access, among other aspects, to:

  • Policy, regulatory and technical advisory services.
  • Capacity building for local policy makers, utilities, private sector, financing institutions and other relevant actors.
  • Support on grid stability analyses as well as on project facilitation.
  • Support for access to affordable finance.
  • A platform to share information, knowledge, lessons learned and best practices.

Launched at the United Nations Climate Summit in 2014, the initial LHI targets for 2020 have been met and exceeded ahead of schedule. Taking into consideration the commitments of SIDS and development partners, and the evolution of the energy context, new priority areas and target have been identified and endorsed by partners in a high-level meeting held at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2018.

The new priority areas of the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative are:

  • Support SIDS in reviewing and implementing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), extending technical assistance and capacity building where needed.
  • Expand from assessment and planning to implementing effective, innovative solutions, with continued technical and regulatory advisory services to help SIDS overcome the unique challenges they face.
  • Promote all renewable sources, including geothermal and ocean energy, and step up work to integrate solar PV and wind power.
  • Support the development of bankable projects, fostering access to finance and closer co-operation with the private sector.
  • Strengthen institutional and human capacity development in all segments of the renewable energy value chain.
  • Expand focus beyond power generation to include transportation and other end-use sectors.
  • Leverage synergies between renewables and energy efficiency.
  • Reinforce links between renewables and non-energy sectors - including agriculture, food, health and water - to foster broad socio-economic development, as well as raising awareness about job creation, gender equality and women's empowerment through renewable energy development.
  • Link renewable energy uptake to climate resilience and more effective disaster recovery.
  • Enhance collection and dissemination of data and statistics, supporting informed decision-making and effective monitoring.
  • Reinforce and expand partner engagement, leveraging synergies with existing SIDS initiatives and other IRENA co-ordinated platforms, such as the Global Geothermal Alliance, the International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference and the Coalition for Action.
  • Boost renewable power deployment, aiming for a target of five gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity in SIDS by 2023.


SIDS Partners

Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cape Verde, Cuba, Comoros, Cook Islands, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Grenada, Guyana, Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia (Federated States of), Montserrat, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

Other Partners

Denmark, France, Japan, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Association of the Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union, Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation, Clean Energy Solutions Center, Clinton Climate Initiative, ENEL, European Union, Indian Ocean Commission, International Renewable Energy Agency, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, Pacific Islands Development Forum, Rocky Mountain Institute - Carbon War Room, Solar Head of State, Sustainable Energy for All, United Nations Development Programme, World Bank

RE Progress

The strong political commitment of SIDS and the remarkable cost reductions in technologies such as solar PV and onshore wind, coupled with the support of a wide range of partners, have made renewables an affordable solution for countries with limited financing and technical capabilities. Learn more about the current state of renewables and related information in SIDS.





Caribbean Workshop on Renewable Energy in Small Islands Developing States: How to strengthen resilience and accelerate renewable energy deployment
28 November 2018 | 29 November 2018 | Aruba

IRENA, in collaboration with the Aruba Centre of Excellence for the Sustainable Development of SIDS, organised a workshop to discuss issues to energy resiliency and renewable energy deployment in the Caribbean.

Geothermal Energy Roundtable and UNFC Training Course for Geothermal Energy
05 December 2018 | 12 July 2018 | Saint Lucia

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission (OECS) together with International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the International Geothermal Association (IGA) and the World Bank organised the Geothermal Energy Roundtable and United Nations Framework Classification (UNFC) Training Course for Geothermal Energy on 5th - 7th December 2018, in Saint Lucia.



SIDS Lighthouses Initiative is supported and coordinated by the International Renewable Energy Agency.


Please contact us at
Email: islands@irena.org
Phone: +971 2 417 9000