Energy Roadmaps for Islands

IRENA actively supports islands in their transition to a renewable energy future through energy roadmaps. These roadmaps provide clear pathways covering the technical, economic and policy elements that enable the large-scale, sustainable deployment of renewables.

Roadmaps are a result of cooperation between IRENA, governments and key stakeholders, such as local utility companies. They feature analysis detailing the ways current energy use can be transformed to a least-cost energy system with a significant contribution from renewables.

Roadmap analysis is centred on identifying renewable energy options for power generation, since renewables can be most easily deployed at a large scale within the power sector. The analysis can also examine the potential for renewables in the heating, cooling and transportation sectors.

Specific policy recommendations addressing locally relevant barriers and opportunities and assisting the implementation of renewable energy projects are a key element of roadmaps. The models developed for the roadmap can also serve as valuable inputs for further work, such as the preparation of the nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement, grid integration assessments and energy market design.

Process involved in developing a Energy Roadmap

The roadmap process starts with a member country’s formal letter to IRENA’s Director-General requesting assistance and presenting the rationale for the development of a energy roadmap. Country engagement takes place through the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative, which brings together more than 50 partners, including islands and development organisations, to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy in islands.

IRENA collaborates with the government to develop a scope of work defining the analysis to be undertaken. The type of analysis depends on the government’s policy drivers, which may include accelerating the deployment of renewables, determining the optimal energy mix, strengthening energy security, lowering energy costs and reducing the environmental impact of energy supply.

Once finalised, the roadmap analysis is presented at a workshop for the government and key stakeholders. Any findings from this workshop are incorporated into a report covering the full details of the roadmap, which is delivered to the government for official endorsement. Delivery of the roadmap report also includes a handover of any tools developed during the process, along with presentations and infographics useful for communicating the roadmap’s findings.