‘Clean Energy in Island Settings’ Webinar Demonstrates Energy Access Solutions
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The Clean Energy Ministerial's (CEM) Clean Energy Solutions Center, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and UN Foundation Energy Access Practitioner Network partnered to present a webinar on 'Clean Energy in Island Settings.' The webinar highlighted energy challenges particular to islands, such as dependence on imported fossil fuels, and showcased useful tools for islands, including renewable energy financing models, resource assessments and capacity building activities.

logos_clean_energy_solutions_se4all_irena11 March 2015: The Clean Energy Ministerial’s (CEM) Clean Energy Solutions Center, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and UN Foundation Energy Access Practitioner Network partnered to present a webinar on ‘Clean Energy in Island Settings.’ The webinar highlighted energy challenges particular to islands, such as dependence on imported fossil fuels, and showcased useful tools for islands, including renewable energy financing models, resource assessments and capacity building activities.

Introducing the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative and noting that 2014 was the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Yasemin Erboy Ruff, Energy and Climate Senior Associate at the UN Foundation, emphasized that while 70% of households in the Pacific islands lack access to electricity, the Practitioner Network has 280 member organizations that report working in the Pacific or Caribbean to, among other things, accelerate deployment of microgrids and provide initial access to lighting.

Speaking on financing renewable energy in islands, Stéphane Tromilin, Sustainable Energy and Transport Division of the French Development Agency (AFD), summarized approaches to attracting private sector involvement, including how to best take advantage of tools like power purchase agreements (PPAs), feed-in tariffs (FIT), reverse bidding and net-metering. Stewart Craine, Village Infrastructure, explained his organization’s method of financing projects in Vanuatu to help implement its SE4ALL strategy.

Yao Zhao, IRENA Global Renewable Energy Islands Network (GREIN), underscored the opportunity to capitalize on renewable energy sources, given high retail electricity prices in SIDS and their vulnerability to fuel price volatility. He outlined IRENA’s capacity-building resources, which focus on the policy environment, technical training, access to finance and empowerment of entrepreneurs.

The organizers of the webinar pointed out its relevance to non-island states that have geographically isolated areas where access to the transmission grid is limited. The webinar was part of the UN Foundation’s broader work to support SE4ALL. [Clean Energy Solutions Center Press Release and Links to Presentations] [About the Energy Access Practitioner Network] [Energy Access Practitioner Network Website] [IRENA Website]