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IRENA Identifies Success Factors for “Renewable Islands”

IRENAJuly 2014: The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has released a report that demonstrates how deployment of renewable energy on islands can reduce fossil-fuel import dependence and create business and employment opportunities. The report, titled ‘Renewable Islands: Settings for Success,' looks at how islands around the world have attracted investments in cost-effective renewable energy resources.

Prepared by IRENA in support of the Global Renewable Energy Islands Network (GREIN), the report identifies factors for successful deployment of renewable energy on islands based on case studies from Cape Verde, Cyprus, Fiji and Samoa.

The report aims to demonstrate how a variety of islands at different levels of development and in different geographic locations can attract investments in renewables through a combination of four success factors: clear articulation of political will, including through legislation; an effective and open market framework that allows for competition, profitability, and investment by independent power producers; technical planning that ensures grid stability and alignment of investments with economic and other interests; and capacity building for a successful incorporation of renewables into island power grids.

The study notes that, as a result of a strong policy to promote investment in renewable energy, over 20% of Cape Verde's electricity generation comes from renewables. Cyprus, which is implementing its Cypriot National Renewable Energy Action Plan, has implemented supportive policies, including auctions, feed-in tariffs and net metering, and is on track to generating a sixth of its electricity from renewables by 2020.

Owing to leadership by its electricity authority, Fiji currently generates 55% of its electricity from renewables, and has set out an investment roadmap and a National Energy Plan in order to raise this share to 81% by 2020. Faced with rising oil import dependency, Samoa is seeking to invest in its abundant renewable energy resources through electricity market reform and stakeholder coordination aimed at attracting independent power producers and ensuring right investment decisions.

GREIN was established in 2013 by IRENA in response to the Malta Communiqué on Accelerating Renewable Energy Uptake for Islands from 2012. GREIN aims to pool knowledge, share best practices, and seek innovative solutions to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy on islands. [Publication Website] [Publication: Renewable Islands: Settings for Success] [GREIN Brochure] [Malta Communiqué on Accelerating Renewable Energy Uptake for Islands] [IISD-RS Story on the Malta Communiqué]