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Energy – Small Island Developing States

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Renewable energy resources on small islands have only recently been considered within the context of long-term energy security. The lack of uptake of renewables to date might be due to historical commitments to fossil fuel-based infrastructure, and a lack of resources to undertake research and development of alternatives.

Those islands that have introduced renewable energy technologies have often done so with support from international development agencies. But significant barriers remain. Potential benefits exist in creating the opportunity for Energy Service Companies, which enter into medium-to-long term, performance-based contracts with energy users, in small islands.

The exploitation of renewable energy is vital to the sustainable development of small islands, although more attention is needs to be paid to the development of energy storage technologies, if rapid transition from conventional fuels is to be achieved in an efficient manner. This is especially important in the case of intermittent energy sources (e.g. solar and wind), as the cost of current storage technologies can frustrate achievement of full conversion to renewable energy. Thus to avoid the possibility of maladaptation in the sector, countries may wish to engage in comprehensive planning, including considerations relating to energy storage.

Oil refinery, Cuba-IPCC-AR5 toolkit-report

Oil refinery, Cuba

Courtesy of Rob Crandall/Fotosearch

This image shows Havana’s oil refinery and port, Cuba

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Wind turbine and port, Mahe Island-IPCC-AR5 toolkit-report

Wind turbine and port, Mahe Island

Courtesy of Andrew Moore/Flickr

This image shows a wind turbine by the port of Mahe Island in the Seychelles

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Wind turbines, Seychelles-IPCC-AR5 toolkit-report

Wind turbines, Seychelles

Courtesy of Andrew Moore/Flickr

This image shows wind turbines in front of St Anne Island, seen from Victoria city, Mahe Island

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Hydroelectric dam, Singapore-IPCC-AR5 toolkit-report

Hydroelectric dam, Singapore

Courtesy of Pauleon Tan/Flickr

Image of the hydroelectric dam at the Marina Barrage in Singapore

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