Collaboration is key to accelerate resilient solar projects in the Caribbean

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Collaboration amongst policymakers and regulators will help accelerate the resiliency and installation of solar projects across the Caribbean, according to a new report.

The report has been released by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), the Clinton Foundation and the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.

The study highlights how solar projects can help improve communities’ livelihoods, enable cost savings, build resilience, and reduce dependency on foreign oil.

By collaborating, Caribbean island nations can ensure the correct equipment is available, known practices are enforced and that solar projects are developed and built with the highest standards.

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Key recommendations for collaboration presented in the Solar Under Storm for Policymakers 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.

The release of the study comes at a time grid networks in Caribbean and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) continue to be affected by more frequent and intense weather events. Due to severe weather, critical infrastructure like hospitals and schools are without power and communities suffer deeply.

Although solar PV systems are a way to increase the resilience of the grid and greatly improve people’s access to reliable electricity, they are useless if they are not resilient to severe weather.

Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, high representative for the UN-OHRLLS, said: “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 transitionࢀ”and their resilience.”

The study is the third in a series of reports by RMI and partners that focuses 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.

Read more about the report.

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