Suva, Fiji, 12 November 2015 – The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is strengthening its engagement with the Pacific region by organising a three-day workshop on renewable energy solutions for islands. The event’s themes are tourism, geothermal energy and follow-up actions toward renewable energy deployment.
“The development of renewable energy resources on Pacific islands not only contributes to climate action, but also demonstrates to the world the possibilities that renewable energy solutions offer,” said Gurbuz Gonul, IRENA Acting Director of Country Support and Partnerships. “Renewable energy can feasibly surpass fossil fuels as the predominant energy source in island power systems while also reducing costs and addressing socio-economic development needs.”
The first day of the workshop focused on renewable energy solutions for island tourism in the Pacific, featuring a group discussion on investment, policy, partnership and cooperation strategies to overcome barriers and accelerate renewable energy deployment. During the second day, IRENA, in cooperation with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, will conduct a consultative process to identify barriers to geothermal energy development in the Pacific, and actions to overcome them with the support of the Global Geothermal Alliance.
The last day will build upon IRENA’s existing studies conducted in some Pacific countries, so called Renewable Readiness Assessments. It will identify and implement follow-up actions at the national and regional levels to further scale up renewables. IRENA released three such Assessments for Vanuatu, Fiji and the Marshall Islands in July and is now embarking on the important follow-up efforts.
“Renewable Readiness Assessments have been a useful tool for developing countries around the world to better understand the domestic landscape and potential for renewable energy and how best to scale up its deployment,” added Gonul. “But the report is just the beginning of the process. The next phase is turning the report findings into actions.”
The workshop is being carried out as part of the programmatic activities of IRENA’s Global Renewable Energy Islands Network (GREIN) and the Global Geothermal Alliance, which contribute to the objectives of the Small Island Developing States Lighthouses Initiative.