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A Greener Caribbean: Distributed Resilient Energy Spurs Economic Opportunities

New RMI report analyzes the opportunities that distributed energy resources (DERs) provide amid the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn that can simultaneously benefit the Caribbean’s economy, environment, and their communities while serving as a blueprint for other countries transitioning to cleaner energy sources.

Boulder, CO – June 16, 2020, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) released its latest stimulus report, which describes four core principles of stimulus and recovery that can guide the Caribbean’s responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. Together, the principles in the study lay a framework for decision makers, regional agencies, and financial institutions that demonstrate how the Caribbean region can build back better and advance their economies for a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable future.

“I’ve partnered with many Caribbean island stakeholders seeking to effectively transition to distributed, resilient energy for both the immediate and long-term benefits they offer. It’s critical to consider what the most suitable option is for each unique island and what leads to economic development at the local level,” said Kaitlyn Bunker, principal at RMI.

Green Stimulus in the Caribbean: Resilient Distributed Energy Resources Can Support Job Creation and Economic Diversification is the third in a series of six reports by RMI that outline how targeted stimulus and recovery investments by countries around the globe can help to address both the pandemic-caused economic crisis and the looming climate crisis.

The four core principles for a Caribbean green stimulus and recovery presented in the paper are:

  • The Power of Distributed Energy Resources: Incorporating DERs into island energy systems to create jobs now, increase resilience to climate and economic factors, and support the development of a diversified economy.
  • Short-term—Focus on Jobs: Highlighting opportunities across the solar photovoltaic, wind, vehicle electrification, and energy efficiency sectors.
  • Longer Term—Focus on Increased Resilience and Economic Diversification: Examining undergrounding and a focus on critical facilities as ways to build local resilience, while utilizing clean energy to support upcoming sectors such as agriculture.
  • Immediate Stimulus Recommendations: Outlining three tangible next steps for the region and decision makers.

“Growing up on the island of Anguilla and having worked as a leader of the local utility for over a decade, I am extremely passionate about the growth and development of island states. I view the opportunity to create a clean energy job hub across the region as a differentiator. This is how the Caribbean can build back better and be viewed globally as an example of resilience,” said David Gumbs, senior consultant at RMI and coauthor of the paper.

In the coming weeks, RMI will release papers with recommendations for green stimulus and recovery investments and actions specific to China, India and sub-Saharan Africa that can help optimize efforts to rebuild in these countries and regions.

To download the Green Stimulus in the Caribbean paper, visit Green Stimulus in the Caribbean: Resilient Distributed Energy Resources Can Support Job Creation and Economic Diversification.

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Notes to Editors

About Rocky Mountain Institute
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an independent nonprofit founded in 1982—transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; the San Francisco Bay Area; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

RMI’s Stimulus Series: