IRENA Releases Studies on Renewable Energy for Pacific Islands
4 September 2013: The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has published a series of reports that identify challenges to, and best practices for, accelerating deployment of renewable energy in the Pacific Islands region. They provide baseline information that can facilitate development of renewable energy roadmaps and strengthen regional initiatives.
The main report, titled 'Pacific Lighthouses: Renewable Energy Roadmapping for Islands,' sets the scene by introducing the rationale for pursuing renewable energy in the Pacific Islands context, and presenting a comprehensive power systems planning approach to addressing energy needs there before presenting challenges to ramping up renewable deployment in the region.
The report offers a number of key messages and recommended actions for the region. Key messages include that: solar photovoltaic, bioenergy and wind offer the biggest potential for the region; an integrated approach to renewables and efficiency is required to balance cost and social acceptance; integrated use of renewables with diesel generators will be necessary in the short-medium term; due to space-constraints on islands, the land, water, energy-use nexus must be carefully considered in planning; and reliance on development assistance for renewables is currently hindering investor confidence, which could be improved by demonstrating commercial attractiveness.
Recommendations include strengthening: institutional frameworks in the energy sector; cooperation between key international actors to develop critical mass for the planning regional transition to renewables; policy and regulatory frameworks to enable renewables deployment; and the collection and management of energy data.
Accompanying this main report is another on hybrid power systems. Furthermore, IRENA has released country case studies on energy context, infrastructure and outlook for: Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu. [Press release with links to 15 country case studies on 'Renewable energy opportunities and challenges in the Pacific Islands region'][Publication: Pacific Lighthouses: Renewable Energy Roadmapping for Islands]