The decreasing cost of solar PV and battery storage equipment coupled with high cost of electricity and grid outages are playing an increasingly important role in the future energy landscape of the Caribbean region. Most recently, Hurricane Maria devastated multiple islands including Puerto Rico, Dominica, USVI and BVI, amongst others, which left both urban and city dwellers without power for extended periods of time.

In wake of a natural disaster, widespread power outages leave communities cutoff from everyday necessities, such as water, refrigeration, and communication. The most vulnerable communities are disproportionately impacted and oftentimes unable to access critical services during an emergency. Most recently, Hurricane Florence highlighted the obstacles to preparing for and delivering services during a disaster.  

Until recently, the biggest impediment to broad renewable energy adoption has been the inability to transmit and store it. For the first time in the history of the electric grid, technology advances in the lithium-ion battery space are now addressing transmission and storage challenges at a distributed level. Now, it’s technically feasible, and economically reasonable, for consumers to produce, store, and control their own energy with home solar and batteries. Improvements in the regulatory landscape, backed by consumer choice for cleaner, lower cost, and more reliable energy, is changing the outlook for solar energy in the United States.  

According to energy expert, Amory Lovins, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute, the energy industry has vastly misunderstood the scope of the energy efficiency resource. Lovins claims that it’s design, not technology that can achieve incredibly energy efficiency gains. Using his own home in the Colorado Rocky Mountains as an example, Lovins shows how simple changes in design have allowed him to grow banana crops using only natural sunlight and reduce the amount of energy he uses significantly.

On Thursday, pay-go energy company Fenix International, part of global utility ENGIE, said that it has electrified 30,000 Zambian households 9 months after expanding into the country by leveraging its partnership with telecom MTN. This rate of growth exceeds the company’s initial expectations and outpaces the industry average, according to the company.