SIDS Lighthouses initiative

    The SIDS Lighthouses initiative (LHI) is a framework for action to support Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in their energy transition efforts from fossil fuel dependence to renewables. The Initiative brings together 38 SIDS as well as 32 partners, including developed countries, regional and international organisations, development and multilateral agencies, private companies, research institutes and non-profit organisations. IRENA is the coordinator and facilitator of the initiative.

    Launched at the United Nations Climate Summit in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in 2014, the SIDS LHI was in response to the strong call to action as an outcome of the Third International Conference on SIDS, the S.A.M.O.A. Pathway urging stakeholders to join forces in supporting the development and implementation of SIDS’s national, regional and inter-regional sustainable energy strategies.

    The initial SIDS LHI targets for 2020 of mobilising USD 500 million for renewable energy investment, deployment of 100 MW of new solar photovoltaic (PV), 20 MW of new wind power and significant quantities of small hydropower and geothermal energy and ocean energy technology projects; and ensuring that all participating SIDS develop renewable energy roadmaps were achieved and exceeded three years in advance. Furthermore, the revised LHI target of 5 GW of total renewable energy installed capacity in all SIDS by 2023 was also met and exceeded ahead of schedule.

Taking into account the success in surpassing the previous targets, the SIDS LHI has revised its target to 10GW of total renewable energy installed 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 operationalised by the SIDS LHI.

With strong SIDS leadership and commitment as reflected by the impressive uptake of renewables resulting in the LHI targets being met and exceeded in advance, 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 takes into consideration the evolution of the energy sector as well as addressing SIDS unique challenges.

The new 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.