News

Study Highlights Renewable Energy Potential and Policy Options for Islands and Remote Areas

IEA27 April 2012: The International Energy Agency (IEA) Renewable Energy Technology Deployment (IEA-RETD) has published a study on renewable energies for remote areas and islands (REMOTE). The objective of the study is to provide policy perspectives for making remote areas and islands largely independent from fossil fuel imports and costly energy transmission infrastructures.

This report aims to provide decision-makers with a better grasp of the technical, economic and energy issues facing remote areas, as well as to provide a menu of policy options available to accelerate renewable energy development in these regions. The report also aims to equip national, regional and local policymakers with perspective, context, and inspiration on how to develop sustainable energy strategies.

The study highlights that remote areas around the world are at the forefront of the transition toward a more sustainable energy future and that deploying renewable energy technologies at scale in remote areas can provide valuable lessons for central electric grids and for mainland transportation and heating systems. Case studies highlight lessons learned applicable at the community, provincial and national levels. The implications of these lessons learned are summarized and ways in which governments can help overcome challenges facing deployment of renewable energy technologies in remote areas are discussed. These challenges include: scaling back fossil fuel subsidies; assisting with training and the lack of technical expertise; assisting with project planning and implementation; designing appropriate incentives; overcoming the issue of scale; increasing research and development (R&D) funding; prioritizing energy efficiency; determining the appropriate level of RE penetration; and mitigating risks. [Publication: Renewable Energies for Remote Areas and Islands]