The Small Island Sustainable Energy and Climate Resilience Initiative (SIDS DOCK), the Pacific Community (SPC), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) are partnering on the establishment of a network of regional sustainable energy centres for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Caribbean, Pacific, Indian Ocean and Africa. The network is supported by the Government of Austria, Spain and other international partners.
Laudable progress has been achieved: the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) has become operational in Bridgetown, Barbados, and the Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) in Nuku'alofa, Kingdom of Tonga. The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) in Praia, Cabo Verde, acts as SIDS DOCK hub for African islands.
The individual centres respond to the urgent need for increased sub-regional cooperation and technical capacities to address barriers hindering the uptake of sustainable energy and climate resilience markets, industries and innovation. Through regional approaches and methodologies, the centres complement and accelerate national efforts in the areas of policy and regulation, capacity development, knowledge and data management, awareness raising, as well as the promotion of investment, innovation and entrepreneurship.
The network offers a platform to cooperate on common sustainable energy island issues and adapted technology solutions, which are of high relevance for the implementation of SDG-14 Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. Therefore, the aim of this voluntary commitment is to contribute to a better integration of the energy nexus into the SDG-14 implementation process and the blue economy/industry concept. Moreover, it will contribute to a better understanding of the synergies between particularly SDG-14, SDG-7, SDG-9 and SDG-13. Key priorities of the commitment are:
- To accelerate the market introduction and commercialisation of ocean energy technologies such as wave, tidal or ocean thermal energy conversion; in terms of technology deployment, some of the technologies still have to overcome major barriers; SIDS can become technology accelerators and innovation hubs by providing a platform for testing, verification and provision of real-time data.
- To systematically address the nexus between energy, waste management, costal and fresh water protection in SIDS; the excessive dumping of organic waste and effluent into the sea leads not only to the loss of a valuable commodity it is also increasingly harming coral reefs, touristic beaches and fisheries, which are major income sources for many islands; at the same time, most SIDS are suffering from extremely high energy prices due to the dependency on fossil fuel imports; organic waste to energy solutions are an interesting technology option to promote domestic economic development, mitigate coastal and marine pollution and reduce fossil fuel spending, i.e.: biogas plants using feedstock from agro industries, treated sewerage sludge, waste materials from rum distilleries, breweries, food markets, slaughterhouses and fishery;
- To address the nexus between sustainable energy and small-scale fishery in SIDS; the replacement of diesel generation or outdated cooling equipment through lower-cost renewable energy and energy efficient solutions can play an important role in increasing the productivity and competitiveness of domestic small-scale fishery;
Network of regional sustainable energy centres is fully operational and adds value to the SDG-14 and blue economy concept implementation;
The regional program Energy Services from Organic Waste for productive uses: Integrated waste management solutions for coastal, marine and freshwater protection is developed and under implementation.
Program to promote sustainable energy investments in small-scale fisheries in SIDS is developed and under execution.
SIDS industry technology accelerator platform for testing, verification and provision of real-time data on ocean energy technologies is established; first utility-scale ocean thermal energy conversion generation plant in the Caribbean developed to financial close;