THE US and New Zealand have laid the foundation of an international partnership designed to promote the use of natural renewable energy resources on island nations.
Last month in Nassau, Andy Karsner, of the US Department of Energy, and New Zealand’s ambassador to the US, Roy Ferguson, signed terms of reference for the International Partnership for Energy Development in Island Nations (EDIN).
The goal of EDIN is to achieve deployment of the maximum amount of renewable energy and energy efficiency possible for specific, measurable clean energy targets, such as providing 70% of primary energy from clean energy sources within one generation.
EDIN partners will also work to facilitate the dissemination of clean energy technologies to less developed island nations and territories.
“Islands are often hit hardest by price volatility and dependency on oil,” Karsner said.
“This international collaboration will help island economies develop and deploy clean and efficient technologies that take advantage of abundant renewable resources, including wind, solar, geothermal and ocean energy, while addressing the serious challenges of climate change and energy security.”
“The launch of EDIN will assist island nations to develop clean energy technologies, policies and financing mechanisms. This partnership will be primarily project-based and will bring together policy leaders, technical experts and financial leaders of island nations to develop guidance to advance clean energy development, and deployment in specific regions and islands.”
Responding, Ferguson said: “New Zealand welcomes the opportunities that this partnership presents. For New Zealand to reach our ambitious renewable energy targets we are clearly going to require new policies and technology to help the uptake of clean energy technology.
“We look forward to working with the US, and other future partners, to expand the sphere of knowledge around renewable energy research and development, government policy and the commercial deployment of renewable energy technology.”
However, at least one further EDIN partner is needed to trigger a programme of work with island nations and territories on a project-by-project basis to develop smart policies and encourage the deployment of clean energy technologies where they are most needed. It is anticipated that additional nations will be invited to join at the first EDIN steering committee meeting scheduled for late this month.
State of Hawaii governor Linda Lingle also attended the EDIN launch. This US state, in January, launched the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative with the objective of achieving 70% of Hawaiian energy needs through clean sources by 2030.
It is not known whether any dialogue has taken place with the UK regarding EDIN. If not, Energy believes there should be. And if not the wider UK, then certainly Scotland should become involved, given the current 50% sustainable energy target and maritime energy technologies ambition.