US and New Zealand Launch Renewable Energy Partnership

At an event in Nassau, Bahamas, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Andy Karsner and New Zealand’s Ambassador to the U.S. Roy Ferguson signed terms of reference for the International Partnership for Energy Development in Island Nations (EDIN), an initiative to further the development of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies on island nations and territories.

The goal of EDIN is to achieve deployment of the maximum amount of renewable energy and energy efficiency possible for specific, measurable clean energy targets, such as providing 70 percent of primary energy from clean energy sources within one generation. EDIN partners will also work to facilitate the dissemination of clean energy technologies to less-developed island nations and territories.

“Islands are often hit hardest by price volatility and dependency on oil,” Karsner said. “This international collaboration will help island economies develop and deploy clean and efficient technologies that take advantage of abundant renewable resources, including wind, solar, geothermal, and ocean energy, while addressing the serious challenges of climate change and energy security.”

When the two countries are joined by at least one additional partner, EDIN will begin work with island nations and territories on a project-by-project basis to develop smart policies and encourage the deployment of clean energy technologies where they are most needed. By invitation of EDIN’s Steering Committee, other nations with inhabited islands and a demonstrated commitment to clean energy may join EDIN. It is anticipated that additional nations will be invited to join the partnership at the first EDIN Steering Committee meeting, which will take place in late August.

“New Zealand welcomes the opportunities that this Partnership presents. For New Zealand to reach our ambitious renewable energy targets we are clearly going to require new policies and technology to help the uptake of clean energy technology,” Ferguson said. “We look forward to working with the United States, and other future partners, to expand the sphere of knowledge around renewable energy research and development, government policy, and the commercial deployment of renewable energy technology.

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