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Energy access and security strategies in Small Island Developing States

Wolf, F and Surroop, D and Singh, A and Leal, W (2016) Energy access and security strategies in Small Island Developing States. Energy Policy, 98. pp. 663-673. ISSN 0301-4215

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Abstract

© 2016 Elsevier Ltd Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) are isolated and surrounded by ocean. The generation and use of energy resources are two very important aspects for the development of SIDS. Unfortunately, most of SIDS do not use their potential in respect of energy resources, and they as a result have to depend on the import of fossil fuels in order to meet their energy needs. This increases the overall vulnerability of SIDS as they have to depend on the rising or fluctuating fossil fuels prices. Some SIDS, especially in the geographically dispersed Pacific region, do not have proper access to energy whereas other SIDS struggle more with energy security issue. At the same time, SIDS are most vulnerable to the impacts and effects of climate change, as they are among the ones to be most severely affected in case of natural calamities and sea-level rise. Drawing on experiences from Fiji and Mauritius, this paper explains core elements related to energy access and security in SIDS, contextualizes and discusses barriers and list some of the strategies that may be used to ensure access to and a continuous supply of energy in SIDS. A situational analysis of two SIDS outlines their current energy situation and compares their energy policies to globally accepted criteria for SIDS policies as well as with each other. It is claimed that the diverging energy performances of Fiji and Mauritius cannot be explained by policies differences. The reasons for the varying energy performances may therefore lie in the administrative and institutional mechanisms used by the two countries in implementing their energy policies. Finally, to enable SIDS to reduce their overall vulnerability and become truly sustainable islands, it is recommended to undertake careful assessments of the particular local contexts under which island energy regimes operate.

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