India-based group helping small island developing states get renewable energy funding

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By Theresa Goodwin

[email protected]

Reporting from Gurugram, India

Funding is available for Antigua and Barbuda and other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that are seeking to boost their renewable energy capacity.

This is according to Chief of Operations of the India-based International Solar Alliance (ISA) Joshua Wycliffe.

ISA is an alliance of 123 signatory ‘sunshine’ countries which strives for efficient consumption of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Its action-oriented, member-driven, collaborative platform aims for increased deployment of solar energy technologies as a means of ensuring energy access and security, and driving energy transition in its member countries.

The organisation strives to develop and deploy cost-effective and transformational energy solutions powered by the sun to help member countries develop low-carbon growth, with a particular focus on making an impact in least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS).

Wycliffe said one of the things SIDS face is an inability to access the funds needed to transition from fossil fuels to renewable or clean energy.

He said ISA has developed a finance facility that will take care of the fears and the nervousness of developers who are willing to invest.

“One is called a payment guarantee. We provide a payment guarantee for a handholding period providing more support to countries. We also have insurance premium support; if there is a loss due to unforeseen circumstances, we are able to step in and work to sort that out,” he said.

“We are currently in the process of raising millions of dollars for Africa alone to be able to provide this facility. We would like to establish a standard with the Asian Pacific and the Latin American countries,” Wycliffe added.

ISA provides around nine different solar projects across the world.

As it relates to Antigua and Barbuda, talks are currently underway regarding the erection of solar panels on the roofs of schools across the country and specific buildings.

Each programme is tailored to the needs of the member territory.

Chief of the Project Implementation Unit Remesh Kumar Kuruppath said his team conducts a survey to determine the feasibility of the project before an implementation plan is put in place.

Both ISA officials were speaking to a group of journalists, press officers and others from 27 countries who are currently in India on a familiarisation tour organised by the Indian government.

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