Cooperation to kick-start with development of roadmaps for selected Small Island Developing States towards SIDS4 where GTI and UN DESA will host a joint event
Dubai, 8 December – Greening the Islands (GTI) Foundation launched at COP 28 a strategic collaboration with the Global Renewables Alliance to advance roadmaps for 100% renewable islands.
The 100% RES Islands initiative was featured in an event co-organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) – a valued partner of the GTI Observatory – and GTI in the SDG Pavilion on December 5, with the participation of high-level representatives from the three frontrunner Small Island Developing States (SIDS): Rodrigues (Mauritius) in the Indian Ocean, Tonga in the Pacific, and Curacao in the Caribbean.
The three islands’ cases will be brought forward as models to the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4), to be held in May 2024 in Antigua and Barbuda. GTI and the UN DESA SIDS Division, organizer of SIDS4 and a valued partner of the GTI Observatory, will continue cooperating in the lead-up to the Conference.
The collaboration with the Global Renewables Alliance (GRA), which gathers renewable energy organizations representing solar, wind, hydropower, green hydrogen, long-duration energy storage, and geothermal energy worldwide, will grant the involvement and input from the leading renewables industries on the roadmaps developed for the islands involved.
Mr Sai Navoti, Chief, SIDS Unit, UNDESA said that “The SIDS Unit of UNDESA has been collaborating with GTI for the past 3 years to advance the interest of SIDS. This collaboration further implements paragraph 40 of the SAMOA Pathway where world leaders reaffirm “the importance of engaging a broad range of stakeholders at the global, regional, subregional, national and local levels, including national, subnational and local governments and the scientific community, private businesses and civil society,” I am happy that the efforts of Curacao, Mauritius and Tonga have been recognized” Mr Navoti added.
“We’re thrilled to initiate a collaboration with the Greening the Islands Foundation, which supports islands around the world champion the transition to 100% renewables. With our joint efforts and the involvement of industry leaders, they can become models for the communities of all sizes delivering their own energy transition”, said Julia Souder, Chair of the Global Renewables Alliance and Executive Director of the Long Duration Energy Storage Council.
“The UN IPCC report is clear – we need the whole world to stop using carbon-based fuels and transition to 100% renewable energy,” said Henk Rogers, Founder of Blue Planet Alliance. “And we will get there. We are starting with islands because they are the most vulnerable to – and the least responsible for – rising average global temperatures. We are thrilled to be partnering with Greening the Islands on this initiative, as we move ever closer to putting more and more islands onto the path of a 100% renewable energy future.”
“This initiative represents a significant step towards the development of concrete case studies for 100% renewables, and we are grateful for the collaboration with UN DESA, the Global Renewables Alliance and the Blue Planet Alliance to further strengthen our efforts to accelerate the energy transition for island communities worldwide”, said Gianni Chianetta, Chair of Greening the Islands Foundation.
As part of the event, the GTI Foundation showcased a scenario for the island of Rodrigues, developed in collaboration with the Instituto Tecnologico de Canarias and the support of Blue Planet Alliance. According to the scenario Rodrigues could complete the decarbonization of electricity generation by 2035. Projection suggests more than 80% renewable electricity penetration could be reached as soon as by 2030, up from around 6% today.
This is possible thanks to a diverse range of renewable energy sources available, driving a significant boost in ground-mounted PV installation and onshore wind coupled with battery storage in the scenario. The final step is projected to be completed in 2035, with further solar PV capacity installed along with battery storage and wave energy systems as well as off-shore wind entering the picture. At this stage, the load demand would be 100% covered by renewables.
The 100% RES Islands Initiative aims at accelerating the decarbonization of islands’ power sector creating replicable models where renewable electricity will benefit also for other sectors, such as water desalination, green hydrogen and sustainable mobility. The GTI Foundation and its partners believe that accelerating the energy transition in a multi-stakeholder approach can catalyze positive change towards sustainability and self-sufficiency, with a lasting impact on the energy landscape of several islands worldwide.