UNDP, EU support T&T move toward renewable energy

July 20, 2020

Call for Site Selection for solar PV systems ends

UNDP would like to thank all applicants who responded to its Call for Site Selection under the European Union-funded Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) Project, to establish approximately 12 small-scale, off-grid solar photovoltaic (PV) systems across Trinidad and Tobago.

Over 164 applications, representing various sectors, locations, and vulnerable segments of society, responded to the call. This keen interest demonstrated by the sheer number of applicants, is both inspiring and indicative of the importance that this work will have on enhancing the country’s energy mix through the inclusion of renewables.

The application evaluation process is currently underway. Due to the large number of respondents, only the highest ranked candidates will be notified that they will progress to the next stage of the assessment, which includes site visits and further due diligence screening.

The UNDP, in partnership with the European Union and the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is looking forward to the implementation of this exciting initiative that showcases the country’s commitment to renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions reduction.

About GCCA+

The search for suitable sites for the installation of solar energy systems in remote communities begins in earnest this month (July 2020), as the Government of Trinidad and Tobago,  the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union (EU) kick off  the Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) project: Support to the implementation of Trinidad and Tobago’s Nationally Determined Contribution.  

This €2.4M project will support national efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the amount of electricity generated from renewable energy sources, as part of the Government’s ongoing efforts to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement through the achievement of its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). The multi-year project will also seek to promote a transformative, green economy by demonstrating the benefits of renewable energy and its potential role in creating employment, sustainable development and reducing the environmental risks associated with nonrenewable energy sources.

The project will see the installation of solar energy systems to support NGOs, microenterprises, cooperatives, public institutions and remote communities at approximately 12 sites across both islands. It will also include the strengthening and implementation of renewable energy and energy efficiency policies, legislative and regulatory frameworks, and a public education and awareness raising campaign on the benefits of using renewable energy and adopting energy efficiency practices.

The UNDP is implementing this component of the GCCA+ project, working closely with the Ministry of Planning and Development, Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, and the Tobago House of Assembly

“The global energy transition to sustainable sources is an imperative if carbon neutrality is to be realized in the second half of this century in order to avoid catastrophic climate change. Trinidad and Tobago contributes to that effort through its Nationally Determined Contribution commitment under the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the power generation sector. This target cannot be achieved without deploying renewable sources of energy, and this project will contribute towards that end while raising awareness on the effectiveness of renewable energy as the future of power generation” said Kishan Kumarsingh – Head Multilateral Environmental Agreements Unit, Ministry of Planning and Development.

According to Randi Davis, Resident Representative, UNDP Trinidad and Tobago “Transitioning to renewable energy is critical to achieving the Sustainable development Goals - the UN blueprint for global peace and prosperity, meeting the de-carbonization embodied in the Paris Climate Agreement and making progress towards the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction -  a roadmap for how UN Member States can make communities safer and more resilient to disasters. We believe that this initiative will support the Government of Trinidad and Tobago in building a better quality of life for citizens by securing a more sustainable future, and we are excited to be leading its implementation.”

H.E. Ambassador Aad Biesebroek underscored the importance of the project, saying, “Climate change is one of the world’s most pressing challenges and the implementation of the Paris Agreement is central to ensuring the achievement of global climate goals.  The EU is committed to working with partners around the world, including small island states like Trinidad and Tobago, that are most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change, to achieve their National Determined Contributions under this Agreement. We are happy to be working together with Trinidad and Tobago to bring them closer to the achievement of their national objectives, improving the country’s resilience to climate change and contributing to energy security.”