The Caribbean Shows the Way to a Renewable Future

The Caribbean Shows the Way to a Renewable Future
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Falling energy storage costs and sophisticated control systems are allowing renewables to be the backbone of some Caribbean nations—and providing lessons for mainlands.

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The Caribbean Shows the Way to a Renewable Future
Photo Credit: Wärtsilä Energy

In the span of just a few years, the focus at the annual Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation conference has shifted from issues around producing electricity from thermal capacity — usually oil — to what blend of renewable options constitutes the best path forward.

It is not just a theoretical question for the future, says Risto Paldanius, director of business development for Wärtsilä’s Energy Storage and Optimization business unit, a longtime attendee of the conference.

“It has clearly shifted, and now that the [levelized cost of energy, or LCOE] for renewables is on par or lower than any thermal generation, it’s all about solar and wind,” said Paldanius. “Then the questions become how to achieve the 100 percent renewable future everyone is talking about without causing disturbances in the grid and effectively managing solar ramp rates and generation optimization.”

They are not questions rooted only in environmental sustainability; they also address life-saving resiliency, as seen with storms that have battered communities and their power grids on many islands with devastating outcomes in the past two years, including in Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and Anguilla.

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New Hub Launched to Increase Transparency of Climate Action in the Caribbean

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailUN Climate Change News, 21 February 2019 – Measuring, reporting and verifying climate action under the Paris Climate Change Agreement is being strengthened in the Caribbean region with the help of a new hub, with support from UN Climate Change.

This month, a Caribbean Measurement, Reporting and Verification “MRV” Hub was formally launched, a unique collaborative technical institution where countries in the region can share expertise to foster regional excellence and generate stronger policy-relevant carbon accounting.

The MRV Hub provides a mechanism through which country experts will function as a true learning, mentoring and resource-sharing technical cooperative

At a meeting of ten countries from the English-speaking Caribbean region convened at St. George’s University in Grenada, UNDP’s Damiano Borgogno delivered a call to action.

“You cannot control what you cannot measure,” he said, noting that countries must be able to measure and track emissions to make informed decisions that result in climate change action.

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