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International

Islands Energy Program

Accelerating the transition of island economies from a heavy dependence on fossil fuels to a diverse platform of clean energy and energy efficiency while establishing a blueprint for other island economies.

Islands: Build Back Better

Islands are at the forefront of the climate crisis—both feeling its effects and pioneering solutions to build resilience.

Learn more about RMI’s work in the Caribbean, as featured on 60 Minutes.

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A Transition to Renewable Energy

Learn how our Islands Energy Program supports island partners to transition from expensive and dirty energy sources to clean, affordable, and more resilient energy systems.

What Is the Islands Energy Program?

With an independent, objective, and fact-based approach, the Islands Energy Program brings experience gained from engagements with island governments, utilities, and civil society to solve the toughest energy challenges. The program is working with island partners to develop clean energy pathways to meet national goals and development objectives.

Why It Matters

Island nations possess abundant local and natural resources, such as the wind, sun, and in some cases geothermal potential, which can be harnessed to provide low-cost, clean, affordable, local energy. High electricity costs, volatile global oil prices, and a reliance on imported diesel create a clear business case for clean energy. By using local resources, entire countries can be powered by clean energy.

What We’re Doing

Inclusive Energy Planning

We convene key stakeholders to establish a national energy vision, and develop a transition strategy to achieve that vision.

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Project and Program Advisory

We develop, de-risk, and prepare clean energy projects for market in order to attract top project developers and companies.

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Energy Leadership

We provide island energy practitioners with direct access to subject matter experts, and with a mechanism to exchange lessons and learn from each other.

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WHAT WE’VE ACCOMPLISHED

  • Facilitated the implementation of 17 projects totaling over 75 MW spread across 8 island nations that are either under construction, under procurement, or plan to be tendered.
  • Worked with development partners and commercial lenders to leverage $160 million in private and public sector clean energy investment.
  • Led the clean energy transition planning process and supported the development of roadmaps for six islands to build low-carbon futures: the British Virgin Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands, San Andrés and Providencia, Belize, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Saint Lucia.
  • Collaborated with the Institute for Competitiveness and Sustainable Economy for Puerto Rico (ICSE-PR) and convened over 40 energy stakeholders who provided a collaborative approach toward a vision for reforming the Puerto Rico energy system.
  • Developed a set of guidelines for governments, utilities and insurance providers to design and construct solar PV ground mount systems to be Category 5 hurricane resistant.
  • Co-authored The Bahamas renewable energy net-billing and interconnection policy and the Montserrat National Energy Policy.
  • Launched an online knowledge exchange community for island energy practitioners, which has grown to over 1,100 members.

Our Partners

International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

Partner

Caribbean Electric Utilities Services Corporation

Partner

Clinton Climate Initiative

Partner

Partner Islands

Anguilla

Partner

Aruba

Partner

Bahamas

Partner

Antigua & Barbuda

Partner

Belize

Partner

British Virgin Islands

Partner

Colombia (San Andrés and Providencia)

Partner

Grenada

Partner

Guyana

Partner

Montserrat

Partner

Puerto Rico

Partner

Saint Lucia

Partner

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Partner

Turks and Caicos

Partner

The Seychelles

Partner

Our Team

Richenda
Van Leeuwen

Managing Director

Justin Locke
Senior Director

Roy Torbert
Principal

Christopher Burgess
Projects Director

kaitlyn bunker

Kaitlyn Bunker
Principal

Owen Lewis
Operations Manager

Fidel Neverson
Project Manager

Martyn Forde
CARILEC Renewable Energy (CAREC) Community Manager

Katie Lau
Marketing Manager

Sidney Jules
Senior Associate

Michelle
Grell-Bereaux

Contractor
On Island Coordinator

Shelley Backstrom

Shelley Backstrom
Program Coordinator

Michael Liebman
Senior Associate

David Gumbs
Senior Consultant

Resources

Rocky Mountain Institute and Clinton Foundation Launch New Guide for Hurricane-Resistant Rooftop Solar

2020

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Implementing Puerto Rico’s Energy Transformation

2020

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Don’t Miss RMI on 60 Minutes This Sunday!

2020

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10 Puerto Rican Schools Receive Resilient Microgrids

2019

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United Nations High-Level Political Forum Highlights the Government of Saint Lucia, the Clinton Foundation and Rocky Mountain Institute

2019

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Islands Energy Program Recognized with Global Team Leadership Award

2019

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A Locally Led Move Toward Microgrids in Puerto Rico

2019

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The British Virgin Islands Resilient National Energy Transition Strategy

2019

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Growing Risks to the Implementation of Puerto Rico’s Energy Transformation

2019

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The Islands Energy Program is hosting a number of RFPs and RFQs

2019

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Part One—Critical Facilities: Where Government and Utility Services Redefine Resilience – Part One

2018

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Collaborating for Puerto Rico’s Energy Transformation

2018

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Schools Stronger than Storms

2018

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Public Collaborative for Puerto Rico’s Energy Future

2018

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CARILEC Renewable Energy Community

2018

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Solar Under Storm: Designing Hurricane-Resilient PV Systems

2018

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The Islands Energy Program supports the development of over 20 projects

2018

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Mayreau Microgrid Project Kicks Off

2018

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