Monthly Archives: September 2012

Small Islands Push for New Energy

ST. JULIAN’S, Malta, Sep 14 2012 (IPS) – Most islands are well endowed with one or more renewable energy source – rivers, waterfalls, wind, sunshine, biomass, wave power, geothermal deposits – yet virtually all remain heavily or entirely reliant on imported fossil fuels to produce electricity and power transport.

With rising oil prices, fuel import bills now represent up to 20 percent of annual imports of 34 of the 38 small island developing states (SIDS), between 5 percent to 20 percent of their Gross Domestic Product – and even up to 15 percent of the total import bills of many of the European Union’s 286 islands.

Action advocated under ‘The Malta Communiqué On Accelerating Renewable Energy Uptake For Islands’ adopted by a 50-nation two-day conference that ended here last week will hopefully slash, in some cases eliminate, reliance on fossils and related pollution, while increasing energy security, employment as well as economic and social wellbeing.

‘The Renewables and Islands Global Summit’ in Malta was co-hosted by the 100-nation International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) based in Abu Dhabi and by the government of Malta – a 316 sq km Mediterranean island republic of 410,000 inhabitants, and EU’s smallest member state.

The meeting represents a key milestone in IRENA’s initiative on renewables and islands launched by its governing council last January, as well as a follow-up to the Rio+20 conference in June and the ‘achieving sustainable energy for all in Small Island Developing States’ ministerial meeting in Barbados in May.

The communiqué invites IRENA to establish a global renewable energy islands network (GREIN) as a platform for sharing knowledge, best practice, challenges and lessons learnt while seeking innovative solutions.

GREIN will also help assess country potential, build capacity, formulate business cases for renewables deployment involving the private sector and civil society while identifying available finance as well as new ideas for innovative financing mechanisms.

In addition, the network will develop methodologies for integrating renewables into sustainable tourism, water management, transport, and other industries and services.

IRENA’s Kenyan director-general Adnan Amin told the 120 delegates that “we have confirmed the enormous potential for renewables in small island developing states as well as for developed island countries, not to mention coastal countries with remote, energy-deprived islands of their own. Ambitious policy targets appear increasingly attainable because of great strides forward in technology and cost-effectiveness.

“We are laying the groundwork for a business council to bring investors – from major energy companies to innovative SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and also financial institutions – into the discussion,” Amin added. “Academics and NGOs can also contribute to the search for practical solutions. Developed island states can do much by sharing their experience with small-island developing states that face broadly similar challenges.”

Representatives (including 15 ministers) from 26 developing Pacific, Caribbean and African developing island nations and from coastal developing states with islands reported a wide range of renewables deployment, from detailed long-term plans and ongoing activities to reach up to 100 percent renewables, to admissions of very low deployment and no firm goals or plans yet. More

Malta Comminique Download

 

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Climate Change and the Use of Renewable Energy in Small Island States

On 5 November,Ilan Kelman and Many Strong Voices http://www.manystrongvoices.org/ colleagues will be part of an 'expert chat' on 'Climate Change and the Use of Renewable Energy in Small Island States' http://dl.klima2012.de/chat/chat01.pdf at the e-conference Climate 2012 http://www.climate2012.de/en/start on “Climate Change, Island States and Sustainable Technologies” 5-9 November 2012.

Register and participate online. More

 

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Small islands push for new energy

Most islands are well endowed with one or more renewable energy source — rivers, waterfalls, wind, sunshine, biomass, wave power, geothermal deposits — yet virtually all remain heavily or entirely reliant on imported fossil fuels to produce electricity and power transport.

With rising oil prices, fuel import bills now represent up to 20 percent of annual imports of 34 of the 38 small island developing states (SIDS), between 5 percent to 20 percent of their Gross Domestic Product — and even up to 15 percent of the total import bills of many of the European Union’s 286 islands.

Action advocated under “The Malta Communiqué On Accelerating Renewable Energy Uptake For Islands” adopted by a 50-nation two-day conference that ended here last week will hopefully slash, in some cases eliminate, reliance on fossil fuels and related pollution, while increasing energy security, employment as well as economic and social wellbeing.

“The Renewables and Islands Global Summit” in Malta was co-hosted by the 100-nation International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) based in Abu Dhabi and by the government of Malta — a 316 sq km Mediterranean island republic of 410,000 inhabitants, and EU’s smallest member state.

The Malta Communiqué On Accelerating Renewable Energy Uptake For Islands will hopefully help slash or eliminate reliance on fossil fuels, while increasing energy security, employment as well as economic and social wellbeing.

The meeting represents a key milestone in IRENA’s initiative on renewables and islands launched by its governing council last January, as well as a follow-up to the Rio+20 conference in June and the “Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in Small Island Developing States” ministerial meeting in Barbados in May.

The communiqué invites IRENA to establish a global renewable energy islands network (GREIN) as a platform for sharing knowledge, best practice, challenges and lessons learnt while seeking innovative solutions.

GREIN will also help assess country potential, build capacity, formulate business cases for renewables deployment involving the private sector and civil society while identifying available finance as well as new ideas for innovative financing mechanisms.

In addition, the network will develop methodologies for integrating renewables into sustainable tourism, water management, transport, and other industries and services.

IRENA’s Kenyan director-general Adnan Amin told the 120 delegates that “we have confirmed the enormous potential for renewables in small island developing states as well as for developed island countries, not to mention coastal countries with remote, energy-deprived islands of their own. Ambitious policy targets appear increasingly attainable because of great strides forward in technology and cost-effectiveness.

“We are laying the groundwork for a business council to bring investors — from major energy companies to innovative SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises) and also financial institutions — into the discussion,” Amin added. “Academics and NGOs can also contribute to the search for practical solutions. Developed island states can do much by sharing their experience with small-island developing states that face broadly similar challenges.”

Representatives (including 15 ministers) from 26 developing Pacific, Caribbean and African developing island nations and from coastal developing states with islands reported a wide range of renewables deployment, from detailed long-term plans and ongoing activities to reach up to 100 percent renewables, to admissions of very low deployment and no firm goals or plans yet. More

 

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Small Islands Push for New Energy

ST. JULIAN’S, Malta, Sep 14 2012 (IPS) – Most islands are well endowed with one or more renewable energy source – rivers, waterfalls, wind, sunshine, biomass, wave power, geothermal deposits – yet virtually all remain heavily or entirely reliant on imported fossil fuels to produce electricity and power transport.

With rising oil prices, fuel import bills now represent up to 20 percent of annual imports of 34 of the 38 small island developing states (SIDS), between 5 percent to 20 percent of their Gross Domestic Product – and even up to 15 percent of the total import bills of many of the European Union’s 286 islands.

Action advocated under ‘The Malta Communiqué On Accelerating Renewable Energy Uptake For Islands’ adopted by a 50-nation two-day conference that ended here last week will hopefully slash, in some cases eliminate, reliance on fossils and related pollution, while increasing energy security, employment as well as economic and social wellbeing.

‘The Renewables and Islands Global Summit’ in Malta was co-hosted by the 100-nation International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) based in Abu Dhabi and by the government of Malta – a 316 sq km Mediterranean island republic of 410,000 inhabitants, and EU’s smallest member state.

With rising oil prices, fuel import bills now represent up to 20 percent of annual imports of 34 of the 38 small island developing states (SIDS),

The meeting represents a key milestone in IRENA’s initiative on renewables and islands launched by its governing council last January, as well as a follow-up to the Rio+20 conference in June and the ‘achieving sustainable energy for all in Small Island Developing States’ ministerial meeting in Barbados in May.

The communiqué invites IRENA to establish a global renewable energy islands network (GREIN) as a platform for sharing knowledge, best practice, challenges and lessons learnt while seeking innovative solutions.

GREIN will also help assess country potential, build capacity, formulate business cases for renewables deployment involving the private sector and civil society while identifying available finance as well as new ideas for innovative financing mechanisms.

In addition, the network will develop methodologies for integrating renewables into sustainable tourism, water management, transport, and other industries and services.

IRENA’s Kenyan director-general Adnan Amin told the 120 delegates that “we have confirmed the enormous potential for renewables in small island developing states as well as for developed island countries, not to mention coastal countries with remote, energy-deprived islands of their own. Ambitious policy targets appear increasingly attainable because of great strides forward in technology and cost-effectiveness.

“We are laying the groundwork for a business council to bring investors – from major energy companies to innovative SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and also financial institutions – into the discussion,” Amin added. “Academics and NGOs can also contribute to the search for practical solutions. Developed island states can do much by sharing their experience with small-island developing states that face broadly similar challenges.”

Representatives (including 15 ministers) from 26 developing Pacific, Caribbean and African developing island nations and from coastal developing states with islands reported a wide range of renewables deployment, from detailed long-term plans and ongoing activities to reach up to 100 percent renewables, to admissions of very low deployment and no firm goals or plans yet.

West African Cape Verde, a 10-island 4,033 sq km archipelago with 491,000 inhabitants, has started working towards 100 percent, then possibly 300 percent renewables, according to José Brito, senior adviser to Cape Verde’s Prime Minister, José Maria Neves. Surplus energy remaining from meeting domestic needs (including seawater desalination) could either be stored or exported, Brito said. Cape Verde aims to become a renewables training hub for Africa.

Dominica in the East Caribbean (71,000 inhabitants, 754 sq km) could also become a net energy exporter, Crispin Grégoire, its former ambassador to the UN and now a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) official in charge of Caribbean issues told IPS.

“With 325 rivers and mountainous terrain, we have huge hydroelectric potential. Moreover, Iceland and the EU are helping assess our extensive geothermal resources. We could export surplus electricity by interconnector seabed cable to Guadelupe and Martinique, each just 60 km away. We could also attract high-tech industries to use our surplus power.” More

 

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IRENA Renewables and Islands Global Summit Bulletin

INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY RENEWABLES AND ISLANDS GLOBAL SUMMIT

6-7 SEPTEMBER 2012, MALTA

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Renewables and Islands Global Summit took place from Thursday, 6 to Friday, 7 September 2012 in Malta. More than 130 representatives from IRENA member states, including ministers from 14 states and participants from international organizations and the private sector participated in the Summit.

The two-day Summit featured panel presentations and general discussions on: the implications of the Rio+20 Outcome Document for island sustainable development and renewable energy; island energy trends and strategies; strategic partnerships; and enabling frameworks for investment. A session on best practices and challenges provided the opportunity for participants to share case-study experiences from different regions.

On the final day, participants discussed and adopted the Malta Communiqué on accelerating renewable energy uptake for islands, which includes proposed actions for future IRENA assistance to islands.

Most islands around the world are dependent on imported fossil fuels for the majority of their energy needs, especially for transport and electricity generation. For reasons of scale and isolation, energy infrastructure costs are higher on islands, and the impact of oil price and supply volatility has been severe, exacerbated by the small size of local markets.

IRENA was established to promote the widespread and increased adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy. Through the provisions of the IRENA statute, adopted on 26 January 2009, and entered into force on 8 July 2010, and the Assembly decisions to date, the Agency has been requested to focus, as one of its priorities, on the accelerated deployment of renewable energy in islands.

A BRIEF HISTORY

SE4ALL: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) has declared 2012 the “International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.” (SE4ALL). In this context, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched his SE4ALL initiative to identify and mobilize action by stakeholders from across government, business, civil society, academia and the development community.

The SE4ALL Initiative aims to achieve three objectives by 2030: ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

The International Year and the SE4ALL initiative include various activities at different levels, such as: the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Group; national dialogues to facilitate stakeholder involvement; and policy formulation and evaluation, as well as a public-private partnership of practitioners in the energy community.

To date, many island nations have committed to the SE4ALL partnership.

Rio+20 Outcome Document “The future we want: The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) took place on 20-22 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It marked the 20th anniversary of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development, which resulted in the adoption of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and Agenda 21 (a 40-chapter programme of action). At UNCSD, representatives of 191 UN member states and observers, including 79 Heads of State or Government, adopted the Outcome Document entitled “The Future We Want.”

The agreement calls for the UNGA, at its next session, to take decisions on, inter alia: designating a body to operationalize the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production; determining the modalities for the third international conference on small island developing states (SIDS), which is to convene in 2014; and constituting a working group to develop global sustainable development goals to be agreed by the UNGA.

The Rio+20 Outcome Document contains five paragraphs on energy, which:

  • recognize the critical role that energy plays in the development process, and commits to facilitate support for access to sustainable modern energy services by the 1.4 billion people worldwide currently without them;
  • emphasize the need to address the challenge of access to sustainable modern energy services for all;
  • reaffirm support for the implementation of national and subnational policies and strategies;
  • commit to supporting efforts on electrification and dissemination of sustainable cooking and heating solutions;
  • recognize the need for energy efficiency measures in urban planning, buildings and transportation, and in the production of goods and services and product design;
  • recognize the importance of promoting incentives favoring, and removing disincentives to, energy efficiency and the diversification of the energy mix; and
  • note the SE4All initiative and express determination to make sustainable energy for all a reality, while recognizing that countries set priorities according to their specific challenges, capacities and circumstances, including their energy mix.

REPORT OF THE RENEWABLES AND ISLANDS GLOBAL SUMMIT

OPENING SESSION

On Thursday, 6 September, George Pullicino, Minister for Resources and Rural Affairs, Malta, welcomed participants, noting that island states share a common vision of implementing renewable energy technology amidst limited financial resources and geophysical restrictions. He described Malta’s plans to generate 10% of all consumed energy from alternate sources by 2020, including from solar, offshore wind, biofuels and green energy generated from waste. Pullicino called for island states to lead by example, including by testing renewable energy technology before it is implemented on a larger scale.

 

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