With rapidly growing expertise and an abundance of wind and sunshine, small island states have a head start when it comes to alternative energy. Their specific geographical and economic characteristics also mean that they have a lot to gain from a complete transition to renewables.
Small island states in the Caribbean, Pacific and AIMS regions face many developmental challenges, including limited resources, high transportation costs and a heavy dependence on imported fossil fuels. Yet small islands may well be ahead of industrialised nations in the race to reduce carbon emissions and develop alternative energy solutions.
As global deployment of renewable energy technologies increases and prices fall, the benefits of solar, wind and hybrid energy are becoming more attainable for developing regions. Unlike many wealthier countries, small island states do not have large, outdated coal and nuclear power plants that need to be phased out. And as pump prices for imported fuel are excessively high and land distances covered are generally short, these regions also stand to benefit enormously from electric vehicle technology.
Vergnet has decades of experience in developing renewable energy solutions that are suitable for Small Island Developing State (SIDS) requirements, including extreme weather conditions and logistical challenges. Our wind turbines were first developed for cyclonic conditions. As well as being resilient, they are engineered for easy transport, installation and maintenance, making them ideal for isolated locations. More recent installations include solar and hybrid projects such as the Tarawa solar hybridfarm on the Pacific island of Kiribati, which forms part of the UAE’s support for economic and social development of Pacific island nations. We also recently welcomed the official inauguration of the repowered Petite Place wind farm in Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, meeting the electricity needs of more than 3,300 inhabitants.
Vergnet’s success in small island locations results not just from tailored technologies, but from a comprehensive approach to renewable energy projects that encompasses planning, site feasibility studies, collaboration in the early development stages, help in securing financing, commissioning and operator training.