Monthly Archives: May 2012

Pacific pledge to switch to renewable energy

Pacific Island nations have pledged to dump diesel and similar fuels they use to produce energy and replace them with renewable power sources.

The Deputy Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Kausa Natano has told Pacific Beat the implementation of renewable energy schemes in small island states is very important.

“I think everyone’s supported the idea of energy efficiency as it will save a lot of funds from their budgets and could be used for other social developments in respective countries,” he said.

Their pledges came at a meeting of small island states in Barbados, West Indies.

Their nations plan to rely on sources like coconut biofuel, solar energy and wind energy by the end of the decade.

Their declaration will be taken to the Rio Plus 20 Earth Summit in Brazil next month.

Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, of the United Nations Development Program, told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat it was “tremendous leadership on the part of small island developing states.”

“They have stepped out, they have set themselves targets that they are willing to work towards to achieve,” she said.

“We had some donor partners – Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom – that actually also made the commitment to support these small island states as they move forward to try and support the transformation of their societies.”

He says donor partners – Denmark, Norway and the United Kingdom – have committed to support the small island states in their transformation. More


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Wind, Solar, Coconuts: SIDS and Climate Change

Renewable energy is having a hard enough time becoming mainstream on the mainland, but when small island developing states, or SIDS, decide to take energy matters into their own hands – by even adding coconuts to their portfolio – one has to wonder: what’s the hang up for larger countries?

Besides some of the obvious factors, the primary factor being islands have relatively small populations and therefore demand less energy, islands states, particularly tropical islands, come ripe with plenty of sunshine, ocean wind and, of course, coconuts. What do coconuts and coconut palms have to do with renewable energy? Well, coconut palms not only supply coconuts, which are a renewable food source, but are a “naturally recyclable source of a wide range of products, including transportation fuel, oil … and fiber.”

Kokonut Pacific, an Australian company, has tapped into this iconic island market and has been relatively successful at getting island nation states to make use of coconuts and coconut palms in a sustainable, low-impact way. SIDS are beginning to see a self-sufficient economy developing, one that combines a renewable energy portfolio with economic and environmental sustainability.

Bold action and creativity, while commendable, nevertheless fails to account for the fact that climate change does not operate in isolation, but impacts the globe aggregately. The carbon released in the Canadian tar sands, for example, will inevitably influence sea level rise in the Pacific Ocean and there’s not much a small island can do to abate that.

Dire predictions in mind, island nation states are serious when it comes to climate change and they should be; islands like the Maldives are predicted to experience devastating effects of global warming, including the shocking realization that their islands could soon disappear entirely under rising sea levels. The lowest country on Earth, the Maldives, are comprised of 1,200 islands, the highest reaching merely 5 feet above sea level. With a population of 320,000, President Mohammed Nasheed has been very vocal in expressing his concern over climate model predictions on his nation. More


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Portugal is meeting its astonishing renewable energy target goal of 60 % by 2020

Portugal is meeting its astonishing renewable energy target goal of 60 % by 2020. with Wind. Solar. Hydro. Bio-fuels And WAVE.

Scroll down page to LISTEN to audio interview to Portugal Minister Manuel Pinho, about how Portugal is achieving its high targets for renewable energy.

Pelamis wave energy converter generating electricity into the Portuguese grid off the coast of Aguçadoura, Portugal, in October 2008. This footage was captured for the documentary ‘Home’ by Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

‘Emptiness’ sound track courtesy of Alexander Blu.

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SIDS conference adopts the Barbados Declaration

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday May 11, 2012 – The Barbados-hosted Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in Small Island Developing States Conference has concluded with the adoption of the “Barbados Declaration” addressing universal access to modern and affordable renewable energy services while protecting environment, ending poverty and creating new opportunities for economic growth.

Adopted just weeks before the UN Conference on Sustainable Development “Rio+20”, the declaration includes an annex with voluntary commitments of 20 Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to take actions toward providing universal access to energy, switching to renewable energy and reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

Barbados announced its plan to increase the share of renewable energy in that country to 29 percent of all electricity consumption by 2029.

“By 2029 we expect that total electricity costs would have been cut by US$283.5 million and CO2 emissions would have been reduced by 4.5 million tons,” said Prime Minister Freundel Stuart. “We also envisage an overall 22 percent reduction in projected electricity consumption based on the use of energy efficiency measures.”

Actions pledged by other small developing island states include Maldives’ commitment to achieve carbon neutrality in the energy sector by the year 2020; Marshall Island’s aim to electrify all urban households and 95 percent of rural outer atoll households by 2015; Mauritius’ commitment to increasing the share of renewable energy – including solar power, wind energy, hydroelectric power, bagasse and landfill gas – to 35 percent or more by 2025, and Seychelles’ commitment to produce 15 percent of energy supply from renewable energy by 2030. More


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Reducing Dependence on Fossil Fuels Essential for Sustainable Progress in Small Island Developing States, Says UN Secretary-General

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) need to free themselves from dependence on fossil fuel imports and transform their energy sectors to encompass modern, efficient, clean and renewable sources of energy, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message to an audience of prime ministers, ministers, international experts, civil society leaders and business executives at the Barbados Conference today.

Sustainable development is not possible without sustainable energy, the Secretary-General continued in his message to the conference Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in Small Island Developing States, convened by the Government of Barbados and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The worlds appetite for energy continues to grow, and the global thermostat continues to rise. My vision is a world with universal energy access; a doubling of the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and a doubling of renewable energy in our mix of fuel sources by 2030.

Small island developing states are highly dependent on imported oil and other fossil fuels for transport and electricity generation, which is a major source of economic volatility.

We know that although many Small Island Developing States are energy deficient in conventional energy, limitless potential for renewable energy and energy efficiency resides in our countries. The fundamental issue thus is how do we, as small island developing states with inherent structural problems and limited resources, convert this renewable energy potential into a tangible product that is accessible, affordable and adaptable, proclaimed Prime Minister, The Honourable Freundel Stuart in addressing delegates at the opening ceremony this morning.

In some small island states, switching to hydro, solar, geothermal or other renewable energy sources can free up to 30 percent of gross domestic product which is otherwise expended on imports of oil and refined petroleum products. The savings can be then invested into jobs in sectors such as clean energy, improved health care and education, stronger safety nets for people whose livelihoods will be affected by the phase out of fossil fuels, adaptation to climate change, and other programmes. More


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Small Island States Take Steps to Become Energy Independent and End Poverty

High-level forum in Barbados to chart a new ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ roadmap ahead of “Rio+20” Conference, UNDP

The Government of Barbados, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States will host from 7 to 9 May 2012 the High-Level Conference of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS): Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in SIDS and the Rio+20 Informal Ministerial Meeting.

Prime Minister of Barbados Freundel Stuart and UNDP Resident Representative in Barbados Michelle Gyles-McDonnough will open the Conference which will discuss policy strategies leading to universal access to energy, increase in renewable energy production and energy efficiency.

Convened less than two months before world leaders gather in Brazil for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development “Rio+20”, the Bridgetown Conference brings together high level representatives of 39 countries from the Caribbean, the Pacific, Indian Ocean, and Africa, that belong to the Small Island Developing States group.

“Small island developing states can leap toward the goal of a poverty free and prosperous future by changing their energy sectors,” said Prime Minister Stuart. “Just weeks before the Rio+20 Conference, our countries can rally the international community with a unified voice, sharing our aspiration to become fully sustainable, and to contribute to a meaningful outcome of the meeting in Rio de Janeiro.” More


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Study Highlights Renewable Energy Potential and Policy Options for Islands and Remote Areas

Study Highlights Renewable Energy Potential and Policy Options for Islands and Remote Areas

IEA27 April 2012: The International Energy Agency (IEA) Renewable Energy Technology Deployment (IEA-RETD) has published a study on renewable energies for remote areas and islands (REMOTE). The objective of the study is to provide policy perspectives for making remote areas and islands largely independent from fossil fuel imports and costly energy transmission infrastructures.

This report aims to provide decision-makers with a better grasp of the technical, economic and energy issues facing remote areas, as well as to provide a menu of policy options available to accelerate renewable energy development in these regions. The report also aims to equip national, regional and local policymakers with perspective, context, and inspiration on how to develop sustainable energy strategies.

The study highlights that remote areas around the world are at the forefront of the transition toward a more sustainable energy future and that deploying renewable energy technologies at scale in remote areas can provide valuable lessons for central electric grids and for mainland transportation and heating systems. Case studies highlight lessons learned applicable at the community, provincial and national levels. The implications of these lessons learned are summarized and ways in which governments can help overcome challenges facing deployment of renewable energy technologies in remote areas are discussed. These challenges include: scaling back fossil fuel subsidies; assisting with training and the lack of technical expertise; assisting with project planning and implementation; designing appropriate incentives; overcoming the issue of scale; increasing research and development (R&D) funding; prioritizing energy efficiency; determining the appropriate level of RE penetration; and mitigating risks. [Publication: Renewable Energies for Remote Areas and Islands]

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