Nov 242016

WW Color Logo_Green BlueWorldwatch’s Alexander Ochs met with Dr. Devon Gardner during the Renewable Energy and Efficiency Week 2016 in Berlin, Germany. Devon is Programme Manager for Energy and Head of the Energy Unit at the Secretariat of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). He is also a member of the preparatory team of the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE). In this interview, Devon gives us an update on where the Caribbean region stands one year after the release of Worldwatch’s pivotal Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS) Baseline Report and Assessment.

Thank you for taking the time during busy days here in Berlin. You have an important job. What gets you out of bed each morning?

What gets me out of bed is that I want to see a better quality of life for Caribbean people. Every day, I work to bring us incrementally closer to improving the energy situation in the region so that it can build the basis for improved economic resilience and better opportunities for social advancement. Continue reading »

Caribbean Sustainable Energy Profiles

 presentation  Comments Off on Caribbean Sustainable Energy Profiles
Nov 022016

Interview: Alexander Ochs Discusses the Transition to a Clean Global Economy

 online interview  Comments Off on Interview: Alexander Ochs Discusses the Transition to a Clean Global Economy
Jan 142016


By Ethan Goffman,

For the past 15 years, Alexander Ochs has been an important figure in international efforts to fight climate change and develop green energy, working with United Nations and other international agencies. Among many endeavors, he is President of theForum for Atlantic Climate and Energy Talks, is Founding Chair of the LEDS-GP Energy Working Group, and is an adviser to the German Government’s International Climate Initiative. Ochs’ academic career is also distinguished; he teaches at Johns Hopkins University and has co-edited three books and published dozens of research articles. As Senior Director of Climate and Energy at the Worldwatch Institute, Ochs has developed a series of sustainable energy roadmaps and implementation plans that are helping bring clean energy to Central America and the Caribbean, with plans to expand to new regions. Ochs also participated in the Paris climate summit. EarthTalk’s Ethan Goffman interviewed him via Skype in his Berlin, Germany office…


Or read the full transcript below…

EarthTalk: You’ve worked at the Worldwatch Institute on a series of sustainable energy roadmaps to help countries transition to a clean economy. Why are such roadmaps necessary?

Continue reading »

Against the Odds, Caribbean Doubles Down for 1.5 Degree Deal in Paris

 online article  Comments Off on Against the Odds, Caribbean Doubles Down for 1.5 Degree Deal in Paris
Nov 242015

By Zadie Neufville

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Nov 23 2015 (IPS) – Negotiators from the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are intent on striking a deal to keep the global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees of pre-industrial levels, but many fear that a 10-year-old agreement to buy cheap petroleum from Venezuela puts their discussions in jeopardy. (…)

While agreeing that PetroCaribe could be a disincentive for investments in domestic renewable energy, Alexander Ochs, Director of Climate and Energy at WorldWatch Institute noted, “Caribbean governments are increasingly aware of the enormous financial, environmental and social costs associated with continued dependence on fossil fuels.” (…)

“Even if the problem of global warming did not exist, and the burning of fossil fuels did not result in extensive local air and water pollution, CARICOM would still have to mandate to transition away from these fuels as swiftly as possible for reasons of social opportunity, economic competitiveness and national security, ”said Ochs, one of the authors of the new Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS) Baseline Report and Assessment, launched on October 28. (…)

Continue reading »

Can clean energy trump chaotic politics?

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Can clean energy trump chaotic politics?
Jan 132015


Lisa Friedman, E&E reporter, Published: Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Five years after a catastrophic magnitude-7 earthquake rocked Haiti, killing 220,000 people and leaving the capital city of Port au Prince in ruins, clean energy experts say they are cautiously optimistic about progress despite the country’s political turmoil. A recent road map published by the Worldwatch Institute described the Caribbean island nation as being at an energy crossroads. Just a quarter of the country’s 10 million population has access to electricity, the lowest rate in the region, and the vast majority of those who do live in urban areas. Meanwhile, about 85 percent of the country’s electricity generation depends on imported oil. But, it finds, powering the country with 90 percent renewable energy is “a realistic option.” Doing so, the authors argue, can improve Haitians’ access to energy and create a low-carbon model of growth for other small island nations. But the effort won’t be without serious challenges. (…)

Alexander Ochs, director of climate and energy for the Worldwatch Institute, said “bottom-up” energy access work is where the most promise is in Haiti at the moment. “I think people are taking power, the electricity power, into their own hands now,” Ochs said. On a national level, he noted, “policies have not changed much” in Haiti, and said it’s up to the government to change the country’s course.

From a technical standpoint, according to the Worldwatch study, promise for developing an electricity sector based on renewable energy in Haiti abounds. In outlining several scenarios for expanding clean power, researchers conclude that achieving a 90 percent share of renewable energy would call for investing in 120 megawatts of natural gas capacity by 2030 while adding about 1,900 MW of renewables to its existing hydropower capacity. Yet wariness from investors because of political instability and policy confusion remains a major problem. (…)

Interview on RFM 104.9: Haiti Sustainable Energy Roadmap (in English and French)

 radio interview  Comments Off on Interview on RFM 104.9: Haiti Sustainable Energy Roadmap (in English and French)
Dec 012014


Publication d’une étude réalisée par le World Watch Institute avec le financement de l’Allemagne sur les grandes potentialités d’Haiti en matière d’énergies renouvelables. Dans une interview exclusive accordee a RFM Mr Ochs qui a contribué à la réalisation de cette etude souhaite que les autorités Haitiennes optent pour les énergies solaire et éolienne en abandonnant l’utilisation du diesel et du mazout trop onéreux

Mr Ochs qui participait à l’Emission Enjeux affirme haut et fort que le pays pourrait économiser des centaines de millions de dollars américains tous les ans grâce aux énergies renouvelables. Le Directeur a l’énergie du World Watch Institute precise que des Investisseurs étrangers sont prêts a participé à la mise en œuvre de ces projets toutefois note Alexander Ochs ils réclament que les conditions legales soient réunies .

Les explications de Alexander Ochs au micro de Rotchild Francois Jr.

Renewable Energy: “Development as Freedom” in Haiti and Beyond

 blog, online report  Comments Off on Renewable Energy: “Development as Freedom” in Haiti and Beyond
Dec 012014

TriplePunditAndrew Burger, 1 December 2014

Rapid transition from centralized energy systems based on fossil fuels to those based on a mix of distributed, locally appropriate renewable energy resources is viewed by many as the most effective means of mitigating and adapting to climate change. That’s just the “thin edge of the wedge” with regard to the advantages and benefits societies can realize by spurring development and adoption of distributed energy resources and technologies, however. (…)

An energy-and-development policy paper from the Worldwatch Institute invokes Sen’s conceptualization of “Development as Freedom” as applied to Haiti, the most poverty-stricken nation in a region whose history is characterized largely by general poverty linked to political and economic repression and unsustainable extraction and exploitation of natural resources and ecosystems. In its “Haiti Sustainable Energy Roadmap,” Worldwatch highlights that “tremendous opportunities and actionable solutions exist to build an electricity system that is economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable using the tremendous renewable energy and energy efficiency potentials of the country.” (…)

“There is hardly a place on Earth where the advantages of a distributed electricity system powered by domestic renewable sources are as evident as in Haiti,” Worldwatch Institute Climate and Energy Director Alexander Ochs writes of the study.

See full article [here].

Study on the Development of the Renewable Energy Market in Latin America and the Caribbean (free report)

 academic article/report  Comments Off on Study on the Development of the Renewable Energy Market in Latin America and the Caribbean (free report)
Nov 222014
Project Director: Ochs, AlexanderIDB study
Date: November 2014

The region of Latin America and the Caribbean is already a global low-carbon leader in terms of power generation from hydrological and biomass resources, and it recently has made great strides in developing its other renewable energy sources. Declining costs, maturing technologies, and vast untapped potentials for renewables offer an unprecedented opportunity for further development of the renewable energy market in the region. Continuing to invest in renewables will provide Latin America and the Caribbean with the opportunity to address key economic, social, and environmental challenges in the energy sector.

[Please find the study here.]

The Development of the Renewable Energy Market in Latin America and the Caribbean

 presentation  Comments Off on The Development of the Renewable Energy Market in Latin America and the Caribbean
Sep 232014

Here are the slides from my presentation at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) tomorrow.



  1. Renewable Energy for Power Generation: Global Trends
  2. Renewable Energy in LAC
  3. Barriers to the Advancement of Renewable Energy in LAC and Opportunities to Overcome Them
  4. Vulnerability to Climate Change and Adaptation Strategies in the Power Sector in LAC
  5. How the IDB Can Support Renewable Energy Development in LAC


Presentations on Reform of Water and Electricity Regulatory Systems in Caribbean and Pacific Small Island States

 presentation  Comments Off on Presentations on Reform of Water and Electricity Regulatory Systems in Caribbean and Pacific Small Island States
Mar 252014

Just gave these two presentations here at the Pacific and Caribbean  Conference on Effective and Sustainable Regulation of Energy and Water Services organized by ADB and SPC in Nadi, Fiji:

ADB_logoSPC_logoCaribbean Energy and Water Policies: An Overview of 8 Case Studies
This presentation gives an overview of key preliminary findings from an examination of water and energy regulations and regulatory structures in Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, and St. Lucia.

Statutes and Regulation: The Low-Discretion Model of Saint Lucia
Like many small-island developing states, one of the major regulatory challenges facing Saint Lucia is how to regulate effectively with limited financial and human resources. Its experience with a Low-Discretion Model provides important insights.

I would like to thank my whole team at Worldwatch for contributing to, and particularly Evan Musolino and Katie Auth for taking the lead on, preparing these two presentations.

Jamaica Sustainable Energy Roadmap

 press release  Comments Off on Jamaica Sustainable Energy Roadmap
Nov 212013

Worldwatch’s Climate and Energy team just launched its groundbreaking Sustainable Energy Roadmap for Jamaica, a look at the measures that the country can take to transition its electricity sector to one that is socially, environmentally, and financially sustainable.

The report, Jamaica Sustainable Energy Roadmap: Pathways to an Affordable, Reliable, Low-Emission Electricity System, is the culmination of years of intensive investigation. It analyzes the potential for energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment in Jamaica and discusses the social and economic impacts of alternative energy pathways. Click here for more information about the project and to read the report.

Sustainable Energy Roadmaps – Presentation at COP 18 in Doha, Qatar

 presentation  Comments Off on Sustainable Energy Roadmaps – Presentation at COP 18 in Doha, Qatar
Jan 132013

Sustainable Energy for Island Economies:
A High Impact Opportunity of SE4ALL – Vision 20/30

This session, moderated by Nasir Khattak, Climate Institute, presented the global programme “Sustainable Energy for Island Economies,” launched in 2000 and included in 2012 as one of the “high impact opportunities” under the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative, with some panelists showcasing projects from their island states. Continue reading »

Alexander Ochs of Worldwatch Institute to Keynote REFF-LAC

 presentation  Comments Off on Alexander Ochs of Worldwatch Institute to Keynote REFF-LAC
Apr 232012

The Premier Renewable Energy Finance & Investment Event for Latin America & the Caribbean
Renewable Energy Finance Forum – LAC (REFF-LAC), April 24-25, Marriott Biscayne Bay, Miami, FL

Opening Keynote Speaker
Wednesday, April 25, 9:15 AM

Alexander Ochs
Director of Climate and Energy
Worldwatch Institute

Sustainable Energy Roadmaps: Guiding the Shift to Domestic Power in Central America and the Caribbean

Worldwide, renewable energy is growing exponentially. Technologies have matured and are widely available, affordable, and reliable. Nevertheless, Central American and the Caribbean countries are far from utilizing their abundant domestic renewable energy potentials while continuing to pay an enormous price for the import of fossil fuels. Sustainable Energy Roadmaps help identify energy development scenarios that are in a country’s best economic, social, and environmental interest.

Petrocaribe: Making Our Case For Us

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Petrocaribe: Making Our Case For Us
Feb 092011
The Worldwatch Institute has begun implementing a Low Carbon Energy Roadmaps project to help Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) transition to a low-carbon economy. Undertaking such a transition is an immediate imperative for these states. If they can capitalize on their indigenous, renewable resources they can reduce their oil imports, reduce exposure to volatile prices, and invest any saved money in other areas of their economy. Still, it’s always nice to have someone (or something) else burnish our argument.

In 2005, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez initiated the Petrocaribe Energy Cooperation Agreement, an arrangement that allowed 12 Caribbean nations, including the Dominican Republic, to purchase oil at a subsidized cost. Nevertheless fuel prices in the D.R. have jumped 50 percent in the last two years.  Gasoline and diesel currently cost around $4.60 and $4.16 per gallon, respectively. Dominican taxi and bus drivers have recently begun taking out their frustration over higher fuel costs on Venezuela, protesting outside the Venezuelan Embassy and demanding more information on the details of the Petrocaribe program. In response, Alfredo Murga, Venezuela’s ambassador to the D.R., pointed out that Dominican authorities set their own fuel prices based on international crude oil markets. In other words, even Petrocaribe does not protect Dominicans from the vagaries of oil prices.  These developments only reinforce Worldwatch’s position: such complete dependence on oil for electricity in addition to vehicle fuel is untenable for the Dominican Republic. 

[Read the full Re|Volt blog here]

Renewable Energy Not a “Competing” Priority in Haiti

 blog  Comments Off on Renewable Energy Not a “Competing” Priority in Haiti
Dec 302010
by Mark Konold and Alexander Ochs

Recently the Brookings Institution hosted a panel that examined Haiti’s political and humanitarian developments since the January 2010 earthquake. A theme that came up regularly was that of competing priorities such as turbulent elections, a cholera outbreak, a lack of dependable energy supply, and gender-based violence. As the Worldwatch Institute prepares to develop a Low-Carbon Energy Roadmap for Haiti, some have questioned whether limited donor resources should be channeled into something more pressing than assessing and improving the country’s energy infrastructure. Is an energy roadmap really needed right now, or are other matters more important?

The cholera outbreak in Haiti is an urgent matter that deserves all the attention it is currently receiving. However, we must keep in mind that a lack of proper sanitation – due to a lack of electricity – helped cause the recent outbreak. Had the country’s energy infrastructure been more robust and sustainable, basic sanitation and electricity in hospitals might not have been lost and the current epidemic might have been avoided.

[Read the rest of this ReVolt blog]