EDIN Announces New Projects in the USVI, Dominica & the Pacific

The International Partnership for Energy Development in Island Nations (EDIN) has announced three new pilot projects. The U.S. pilot project participant will be the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI); Iceland’s pilot project will be working with Dominica; and New Zealand will work to assess geothermal potential for numerous Pacific Island Nations.

“Islands nations and territories are especially vulnerable to energy price volatility and dependence on foreign oil,” said EDIN Secretariat Mary Werner. “Islands often have abundant renewable resources, including solar, geothermal, wind and ocean energy. Through this collaboration, our countries can help their island economies across the globe to develop clean energy while increasing their energy security and addressing the climate crisis.”

Launched in August 2008, EDIN is an international partnership between Iceland, New Zealand and the United States to further the use of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies in island nations and territories. The pilot announcements were made on the final day of the U.S. Department of Interior’s Conference on Business Opportunities in the Islands.

U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) effort will focus on deploying the maximum amount of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies to achieve specific and measurable clean energy targets. A specific work plan is under development that will identify key needs, projects, and goals that EDIN will help USVI achieve.

The approach and plan will build upon the experience that the US has gained through participating in the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI), which aims to meet 70 percent of the state’s energy needs with clean energy sources by 2030.  Both the Hawaii and USVI efforts will focus on using indigenous renewable energy resources and improved energy efficiency.

Iceland and Dominica Collaboration

The Icelandic authorities will collaborate with the Commonwealth of Dominica as Iceland’s Pilot Project Participant for the EDIN Partnership.  Dominica has significant geothermal resources and Iceland has longstanding expertise in using this sustainable energy source for economic, social and environmental benefits.

As stated in a Memorandum of Understanding signed April 6th, 2009, an important aspect of the initiative is capacity-building within relevant Dominican governmental institutions.  With this purpose in mind, the United Nations University Geothermal Training Programme (UNU-GTP) in Iceland and short courses held on various continents in geothermal training are open for qualified candidates from energy institutions in Dominica.

Geothermal Potential in the Pacific

New Zealand’s initial project under the EDIN Partnership is to assess the potential for geothermal electricity generation within a number of Pacific Island Nations including U.S. territories.  The assessment is being carried out by New Zealand’s GNS Science. The work is sponsored by the New Zealand Ministries of Economic Development; Research, Science and Technology; and, Foreign Affairs and Trade. The study will be based on existing literature and knowledge of the geothermal potential of Pacific Islands.

The report will be completed in mid-June. After the report is issued, it is anticipated that further work will be undertaken to ensure the fit between potential developments and the aspirations of Pacific Island nations.  Working with island nations to further the use of renewable energy technologies is the ultimate objective of this project.

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