To Expedite Resilient Solar in the Caribbean, Collaboration is Key
NEW YORK 14 July 2020 – The United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), in collaboration with the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and the Clinton Foundation, today released a joint report that details how island policymakers and regulators can work together to enhance the resilience of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems across the Caribbean.
The Caribbean and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) continue to face more frequent and intense weather events. When critical infrastructure, like hospitals and schools, are without power, communities suffer deeply. Solar PV systems are a way to increase the resilience of the grid and greatly improve people’s access to reliable electricity, but they are useless if they fail.
The report underscores the need to ensure resilient solar PV systems are installed in the most cost-effective and collaborative way. Other key topics include incentivizing the use of the correct equipment and ensuring building codes incorporate resilient solar PV design and construction standards.
“I cannot stress enough the value of stakeholder collaboration. Collaboration ensures that the correct equipment is available, known best practices are enforced, and that systems are built to the highest standards. These components ensure that islands build the most resilient solar projects and ultimately more resilient communities,” said Jules Kortenhorst, Chief Executive Officer, RMI.
Key recommendations for collaboration presented in the report include:
- Identify opportunities for increased resilience, which require multiparty consideration and action but do not represent current industry standard actions;
- Encourage collaboration between installers and module suppliers/distributors to ensure local availability of specified modules;
- Collaborate with equipment suppliers to implement incentives so that Category 5 standards are incorporated without putting local suppliers out of business.
“In the Sustainable Development Goals, the world committed to ensuring access to affordable, reliable and modern energy for all. Many Small Island Developing States are emerging as frontrunners in the pursuit of renewable energy, with solar power leading the way. International support in the form of access to finance, investments and technology will be critical to accelerate their transition—and their resilience,” said Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, High Representative for the UN-OHRLLS.
“President Clinton’s commitment to the environment continues to drive our work across the Caribbean and island states, finding scalable, replicable solutions for clean energy. We are proud to partner with RMI and UN OHRLLS to share these best practices with the global community. Today, it is even more important to find reliable, cost-effective energy solutions to keep essential services up and running in the face of extreme weather events and the current pandemic,” explained Kevin Thurm, chief executive officer, Clinton Foundation.
Solar Under Storm for Policymakers is the third in a series of reports by RMI and partners that focus on installing hurricane-resilient solar systems. The first Solar Under Storm guide discussed the root causes of past solar failures focused on ground-mounted systems. Solar Under Storm Part II explored best practices for equipment and procedures for rooftop systems.
To download the Solar Under Storm for Policymakers report click here.
Notes to Editors
About Rocky Mountain Institute
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an independent nonprofit founded in 1982—transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; the San Francisco Bay Area; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.
About the Clinton Foundation
Building on a lifetime of public service, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation on the simple belief that everyone deserves a chance to succeed, everyone has a responsibility to act, and we all do better when we work together.
For nearly two decades, that belief has energized the work of the Foundation in overcoming complex challenges and improving the lives of people across the United States and around the world. As an operating foundation, we work on issues directly or with strategic partners from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors to create economic opportunity, improve public health, and inspire civic engagement and service.
Our programs are designed to make a real difference today while serving as proven models for tomorrow. The goal of every effort is to use available resources to get better results faster—at the lowest possible cost. We firmly believe that when diverse groups of people bring resources together in the spirit of true cooperation, transformative ideas will emerge to drive life-changing action. Learn more at https://www.clintonfoundation.org/, on Facebook at Facebook.com/ClintonFoundation, and on Twitter @ClintonFdn.
About the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Land Locked Countries, and Small Island Developing States
The United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) assists vulnerable countries in areas including economic growth, poverty reduction, and meeting targets laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals.
Photo Credit: Ana Sophia Mifsud, Rocky Mountain Institute