IRENA calls for investment in small island nations

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IRENA has issued a call to support the deployment of renewables across SIDS with a minimum investment of $10 billion by 2030.

IRENA’s SIDS Lighthouses Initiative (LHI) held a session during the UN 4th International Conference on SIDS (SIDS4) in Antigua and Barbuda this week to identify financing mechanisms to support the sustainable energy objectives of SIDS.

The speakers also discussed strategies for technology transfer and capacity-building, to address the skills and expertise required for renewable energy development for SIDS.

“We must prioritize initiatives that facilitate the transfer of proven technologies, coupled with robust knowledge-sharing platforms, to empower SIDS in their energy transition and climate action endeavors,” said Flavien Joubert, environment minister of the Seychelles. “Identifying and addressing capacity-building needs is fundamental to enhancing SIDS’ resilience and expertise in renewable energy development. This entails investing in education, training, and skill development programs tailored to the specific requirements of SIDS communities.”

SIDS, with less than 1% of the world’s population and global emissions, are among the world’s most vulnerable regions due to climate change, despite being least responsible for it.

The LHI, launched by IRENA 10 years ago, brings together 41 SIDS and 48 development partners. They have collectively set a target of 10 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2030.

“By fostering genuine collaborations and mobilizing resources effectively, we can pave the way for a sustainable future for SIDS and contribute significantly to global climate action,” said Melford Nicholas, minister of utilities and energy for Antigua and Barbuda.

The 40 SIDS (COP Parties) that ratified the Paris Agreement accounted for 6.6 GW of total installed renewables capacity by the end of 2023, according to figures from IRENA. All island nations installed 8.7 GW of renewables combined last year.

Last month, pv magazine reported from SIDS4 that access to finance will be key for future solar deployment across SIDS.

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