Report on Ocean Energy Technologies Webinar by CTCN and UNIDO

On November 30, 2020 the UN Industrial Development Organization organized the “Joint Webinar: Ocean Energy Technologies for Blue Economies in Small Islands and Low-lying Developing States (SIDS)” in cooperation with the Climate Technology Centre & Network and CARICOM Energy Month. Event Website:
The event website stated the primary aim for the event as “to contribute to the envisaged Ocean Energy Platform for Blue Economies, advocated by UNIDO and SIDS DOCK, in close coordination with the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centers (GN-SEC).”
Dr. Al Binger, Secretary General of SIDS DOCK opened the webinar by highlighting the need to take initial steps for implementing a platform for significantly improving cooperation, to improve awareness and exchange of information in cooperation with regional partners, build capacity, and also noted the need for SIDS is as high as ever as climate and pandemic affects the income and trade deficits for SIDS
He also introduced the Okinawa OTEC Demonstration Facility and Kumejima DOW utilization, which hoped would be replicated around the world.
Mr. Gary Jackson, Executive Director, Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) noted that human resources are critical, and capacity building is needed to support transitions. For SDG #17, he noted all hands on deck are needed, as well as ensuring sites are appropriate and resources are available to support these projects.
Mr. Francisco Boshell, IRENA introduced two reports from IRENA to be launched at the Ocean Energy Europe Conference. In next 3-5 years, project pipelines include up to 3000MW. He noted increasing capacity leads to cost reduction. A 2019 study estimated OTEC potential in Caribbean as 1TW. IRENA is encouraging a new government to government collaborative framework with 40 countries involved.
Mr. Devon Gardner, Head, Energy Programme, CARICOM Secretariat spoke on the CARICOM States and their high debt per GDP and their sensitivity to fossil fuel shocks (of 5.5GW of power generation, more than 5GW is fossil fuel). He noted excitement around offshore wind due to cost reductions.
CARICOM has its own energy vision. Hydro is the main contributor to higher RE rates in CARICOM, but the resource is limited to certain places and is also vulnerable as climate changes. There are still issues with integrating solar and wind intermittency which increases costs. Extreme weather has decimated solar fields and distribution.
CARICOM has agreed to prioritize and pursue cost reduction strategies for OTEC and SWAC. In developing their vision, CARICOM is starting on adaptation which will enable mitigation, with a focus on Size Matters, Site Matters, Cost Matters. CARICOM will establish a working group to develop OTEC Regulatory and Cost model and has a goal to deeply integrate between the ocean and land.
Mr. Emmanuel Brochard, Naval Energies, France spoke on Naval Energies work and expertise, and of the short-term need to fund site surveys and feasibility studies to validate sites for performance guarantees leading to financing.
Mr. Dan Grech, OTEC Resources, UK introduced himself and his company’s initial project development of a 1MW-scale OTEC barge for resorts in the Maldives, which is now being transitioned to public-private partnership among SIDS for development. The company plans to utilize innovation grants and SIDS DOCK to build credibility.
Remi Gruet CEO, Ocean Energy Europe focused on Tidal, noting many designs in the water, with wave mostly at prototype. While a 1MW wave converter is installed in Hawaii, there are many very different resources from near to far shore, and various periods, etc. resulting in many designs.
Ocean Energy Europe is positioning Europe as ocean energy supply chain and is looking to adapt existing oil and gas chains. Their Vision to 2030 pamphlet available on website. He noted the only way to reduce cost is to deploy and build capacity.
Ms. Christine Neves-Duncan, Chief of Staff and Project Director, SIDS DOCK Secretariat spoke on the Island Women Open Network – ensuring women have a part in energy transition. Systematic inequalities require analysis and assessment of gender in planning stages to improve integration. She noted the importance of considering restrictive norms such as evening or late hours that decrease applications. IWON provides gender sensitivity resources and targets to encourage more diversity.
About SIDS DOCK (from – “An initiative among member countries of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) to provide the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) with a collective institutional mechanism to assist them transform their national energy sectors.”
Many SIDS lack access to resources and funds/subsidies often available to other locations. To achieve climate goals, they will need support from developed nations.