Worldwatch’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.
By Story Hinckley, CSM
From the morning of May 7 to the afternoon of May 11, Portugal’s electricity consumption was fully covered by renewable sources. For 107 hours, Portugal powered all of its electricity from biofuels, hydropower plants, wind turbines, solar panels, and geothermal heat. But this is not the first time that Portugal has boasted an impressive energy statistic. (…)
“How did Portugal assume such impressive leadership in the clean energy transition?” asks WorldWatch Institute. “The key, as usual, lies in ambitious supportive policies.”
Feed-in tariffs, which provide renewable electricity producers with a guaranteed price for each megawatt-hour of energy fed into the country’s power grid, were first introduced in 1988 and have continued to develop, according to WorldWatch. Also, host municipalities of renewable energy receive payments of 2.5 percent of revenue. And the government bought transmission lines from private power companies at the turn of the century, refitting the grid infrastructure to better connect with small electricity generators such as domestic solar panels. (…)
Find the full article [here].
Hosted by the Asia LEDS Partnership and Energy Working Group of the LEDS Global Partnership
Session 2: Assessing Renewable Energy Potential Using the Geospatial Toolkit (GsT): Applications in Vietnam’s Thanh Hoa Province
Date: April 21, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM Indochina Time (ICT)
Jon Duckworth, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Donna Heimiller, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Khanh Nguyen, USAID Low Emission Asian Development (LEAD) Program Country Coordinator
Sandra Khananusit, Asia LEDS Partnership Secretariat
Alexander Ochs, LEDS GP Energy Working Group
Check the time of the webinar according to your location here.
Five years ago, the world was shocked by the news that a massive earthquake had triggered a devastating tsunami along the coast of Japan. Entire villages were destroyed and the nuclear plant at Fukushima went into meltdown. What does the region look like today and where are we at with the push for renewable energy?
– By year’s end, Jamaica will add 115 mega watts (MW) of renewable capacity to the power grid, in its quest to reduce energy costs and diversify the energy mix in electricity generation to 30 per cent by 2030. With 90 per cent of its electricity coming from fossil fuels, the government is committed to reducing the country’s carbon emissions by increasing the amount of electricity generated from renewables from 9 per cent now, to 15 per cent by 2020. (…)
WorldWatch Institute’s Sustainable Energy Roadmap for Jamaica 2013 stated that increasing the number of households using solar water heaters, could save an additional 75 to 100 GWh of electricity per year. It concluded that there was a need to create a “smooth transition” to a sustainable and economically viable energy system. (…)
Alexander Ochs, Worldwatch’s Director of Climate and Energy confirmed the report’s findings, noting that Jamaica’s “entire electricity demand could be met with renewable resources” from solar and wind energy. The public sector has already begun its own programme of retrofitting and energy reduction strategies that is said to be saving millions of dollar in expenditure at government agencies and institutions.
Worldwatch noted that investments of roughly 6 billion dollars could increase the contribution of renewables to Jamaica’s electricity production to 93 per cent by 2030, while significantly slashing energy costs. So armed with feasibility studies that points to the possibility for hydropower development along six rivers, Robinson is setting his sights on the road ahead, and another 26MW of power in the very near future.
Find full article here: Jamaica’s Climate Change Fight Fuels Investments in Renewables _ Inter Press Service
COP 21 Panel, 8 December 2015, African Pavilion. Presented by: The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE). This panel discussed advancing low carbon development in West Africa and was moderated by Youba Sokona, Special Advisor on Sustainable Development, South Centre.
Alexander Ochs, Director of Climate and Energy, Worldwatch Institute, said there will be no sustainable economic growth or social development if Africa’s main energy source is fossil fuels. He said centralized fossil fuel based energy systems are not going to solve the problem of climate change or increase access to energy because they are too expensive, and he therefore recommended decentralized systems and renewable energy. He said Africa is not starting from scratch and that there have already been some “enormous advances” in technology and policy development.
Mahama Kappiah, Executive Director, ECREEE, outlined that of the 334 million people in the ECOWAS region only 42% have access to energy and that the energy used mostly comes from fossil fuels and biomass. He said the ECOWAS Energy Strategy for 2030 aims to provide 100% of the region’s population with access to clean cooking energy by 2030 and increase the share of renewable energy in the overall electricity mix to 35% by 2020. He noted another aim to improve the electrification rate from 34% to 88%, an increase equivalent to 60 million households gaining access to electricity between 2015 and 2030.
From 30 November to 11 December, representatives of over 190 countries gather in Paris to reach a global agreement on how to deal with climate change after the expiry of Kyoto Protocol. The talks take place in a city that has been shaken by the Nov 13 terrorist attacks, under a state of emergency, and high security detail for a COP. (…)
We asked experts from a variety of sectors what they expected to see after COP21. We’ll continue to update this from the conference in the next two weeks. (…)
Alexander Ochs, Director Climate and Energy Program, Worldwatch Institute. Washington – Berlin:
“We will continue helping individual countries and municipalities transform their energy systems, including in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Why the focus on developing countries? Because this is where the development needs are the strongest and the pressure not to embark on a development path dependent on fossil fuels is the greatest. In Haiti, for example, 10% of Gross Domestic Product is squandered on fossil fuels while two thirds of the populations still do not have reliable energy access. In at least four out of five countries worldwide there is now a clear economic argument to move from conventional fuels to renewables and to boost efficiency. There are challenges also in North America and Europe, but the most suffering from today’s unjust, unaffordable, and unsustainable energy system is in the regions less developed.”
Full text [here]
– 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. (…)
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) hosted the fifth CARICOM Energy Week (CEW) under the theme ‘EmPOWERING Our Sustainable Development.’ The annual awareness-raising event highlights the importance of energy for economic development in the region. To mark CEW, the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) was inaugurated, and a baseline report for the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS) was released.
CEW was held 8-14 November 2015, with CARICOM member States hosting events, such as panel discussions, site visits to renewable energy projects, the Electric Mobility Show and Conference, and activities with local schools. The Week also featured contests, such as a radio pop quiz with prizes, kilo-walk, energy app competition, video competition, and photo and art competition.
In conjunction with the Centre’s inauguration, the Worldwatch Institute launched the C-SERMS Baseline Report and Assessment, which analyzes the region’s current energy policy framework, evaluates renewable energy and energy efficiency potential, and suggests regional short-, medium- and long-term targets for the energy sector. Among the recommended targets are achieving 48% of electricity generation from renewable energy by 2027 and a 33% reduction in the region’s energy intensity.
Introduction & Moderation
Alexander Ochs, Worldwatch Institute/EWG Chair
Regional Overview: Low Emission Energy Development in Africa
John Yeboah, ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency/EWG co-Chair
Learning from Cape Verde’s Renewable Energy Plan
Anildo Costa, Consultant to the Government of Cape Verde
Learning from Kenya’s Renewable Energy Plan
Esther Wang’ombe, Government of Kenya
I am excited to announce the next webinar in our series on regional leaders in climate-compatible development and their innovative energy approaches from around the world.
Please join us on January 22 at 2 PM GMTfor an online sessionon Energy Low-Emissions Development Strategies: A Regional Overview of Africa and Experiences from Cape Verde and Kenya. Please register for free at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5131648729578459906.
Our regional leaders series is part of our work within the Low Emission Development Strategies – Global Partnership (LEDS-GP), an international initiative aiming to enhance information exchange and cooperation among countries, international programs and practitioners working to advance climate-compatible growth. Worldwatch, as host of the secretariat of the LEDS Energy Working Group (EWG), facilitates these webinars in cooperation with the LEDS Regional Platforms. Recordings of our previous sessions on Latin America/Caribbean and Asia, as well as other LEDS-EWG webinars, can be found here.
[Here] you can find a flyer. Please help us spread the news about this exciting series. Thank you!
Director, Climate and Energy Program
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. (…)
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.
Overall, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has traditionally been a world leader in the use of renewable energy sources for power generation (mainly hydro power), with important sub-regional differences, but the use of fossil fuels grew rapidly in the late 1900s. There have been many initiatives on renewables and energy efficiency on the part of governments and local organizations, supported by multilateral development banks, UN organizations, international NGOs.
The recent development of non-traditional renewable energies (wind, solar, geothermal, modern biomass) is helping meet important development goals (growth, access, affordability) with a lower impact on greenhouse gas emissions. There are still important challenges related to investment climate, business model financing, but there are many lessons to share, both on what works and what doesn´t work.
Haiti’s electricity sector stands at a crossroads. Haiti depends on imported petroleum for 85% of its electricity generation, diverting 7 percent of its annual gross domestic product to importing fuel. Still, only 25% of the Haitian population has regular access to electricity, bringing barriers to advances in economic opportunity, health, education, and social equality. Yet, according to the Worldwatch Institute’s new Haiti Sustainable Energy Roadmapreport, tremendous opportunities and actionable solutions exist to build an electricity system that is economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable.
The Roadmap is the culmination of years of intensive investigation and analysis into the potential for energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment in Haiti. For example, only 6 square kilometers of solar photovoltaic panels would be able to generate as much electricity as Haiti produced in 2011. The study compares the full economic and societal costs of Haiti’s current electricity sector and its business as usual development to that of alternative pathways and concludes that Haiti will benefit immensely if it relies more heavily on renewable energy sources and less on fossil fuels.
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].
26 November 2014 9:00 AM EST
The Regional Platform for Latin America and the Caribbean (LEDS LAC) and the Energy Working Group (EWG) of the Low Emission Development Strategies Global Partnership (LEDS-GP) are co-hosting a webinar on sustainable energy progress in Latin America and the Caribbean. The webinar offers both an overview of recent developments in clean energy policies, programs, and targets across the region and an in-depth case study on Nicaragua’s experience in facilitating private and public investments in climate-compatible energy development. The presentation details the mechanisms that Nicaragua’s investment promotion agency (ProNicaragua) has employed to attract private investment in order to meet the government’s national energy targets and policy objectives. The webinar will be in English and will feature the following presentations:
- Introduction and moderation
Ana Maria Majano, INCAE Business School/EWG Co-chair for LAC
- Regional Overview: Renewable Energy in Latin America and the Caribbean
Alexander Ochs, Worldwatch Institute/EWG Chair
- Nicaragua: Promoting Private Investments towards National Sustainable Energy Goals
Javier Chamorro, ProNicaragua