SIDS Lighthouses Initiative

    Launched at the United Nations Climate Summit in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in 2014, the SIDS LHI was established in response to a strong call-to-action by the SIDS Leaders through the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA), urging stakeholders to join forces in supporting the development and implementation of national, regional and inter-regional sustainable energy strategies in SIDS.

    Co-ordinated and facilitated by IRENA, the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative 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 SIDS LHI addresses all elements of the energy transition, including policy and market frameworks, technology options and capacity building. The SIDS LHI brings together 40 SIDS and 43 development partners, including developed countries, SIDS focused initiatives, regional international and non-profit organisations, private companies, financing and research institutions.

    SIDS LHI initial targets were to mobilise USD 500 million for renewable energy investment, deploy 100 MW of new solar photovoltaic (PV), add 20 MW of new wind power and increase the number of small hydropower and geothermal energy and ocean energy technology projects across the SIDS regions. SIDS LHI also set a target to ensure that all participating SIDS develop renewable energy roadmaps for energy transition. All these targets were achieved and exceeded three years in advance. SIDS LHI partners then set a new target of 5 GW of total renewable energy installed capacity in all SIDS by 2023, which was also met and exceeded ahead of schedule.

    Building on this success and the increased uptake of renewables in SIDS, the Initiative set another new target of 10 GW of installed RE capacity in all SIDS by 2030. This new target has formed the basis of the IRENA-AOSIS Energy Compact and the Ambitious SIDS Climate Action Summit Package, which are operationalized by the SIDS LHI.

    Download the Annual Progress Report 2023 to learn more about SIDS LHI partners.

SIDS Priority Areas

With strong SIDS leadership and commitment IRENA convened a high-level meeting for all the LHI partners in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2018 to discuss and adopt new priority areas that take into consideration the evolution of the energy sector as well as addressing challenges unique to SIDS.

The Priority Areas of the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative are:

  1. Support SIDS in reviewing and implementing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), extending technical assistance and capacity building where needed.
  2. 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.
  3. Promote all renewable sources, including geothermal and ocean energy, and step up work to integrate solar PV and wind power.
  4. Support the development of bankable projects, fostering access to finance and closer co-operation with the private sector.
  5. Strengthen institutional and human capacity development in all segments of the renewable energy value chain.
  6. Expand focus beyond power generation to include transportation and other end-use sectors.
  7. Leverage synergies between renewables and energy efficiency.
  8. 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.
  9. Link renewable energy uptake to climate resilience and more effective disaster recovery.
  10. Enhance collection and dissemination of data and statistics, supporting informed decision-making and effective monitoring.
  11. 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.