Fostering Renewable Energy Uptake in Caribbean Small Island Developing States: Insights from Barbados

Policy guidance on overcoming financial, regulatory and social barriers to the clean energy transition.

Date Published
25 Apr 2024
Shekira Thompson Masachika Suzuki Winston Moore Akio Takemoto Upalat Korwatanasakul
Series Title
UNU-IAS Policy Briefs
Download PDF

This policy brief addresses the challenges of moving away from fossil fuel dependence toward renewable energy sources in small island developing states. Drawing on research in Barbados, it offers recommendations for policymakers and stakeholders to ensure a reliable and sustainable energy supply to support future development and resilience against climate change.


Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS) rely heavily on imported fossil fuels, leaving them vulnerable to unpredictable shifts in global fuel prices and supply disruptions. The region possesses abundant renewable energy resources including solar, wind, hydro, tidal and geothermal. However, the transition to renewable energy has been slow. This policy brief proposes solutions to aid Caribbean SIDS in accelerating their transition to renewable energy.


  • Enhance knowledge and understanding of renewable energy through public education campaigns.

  • Issue thematic corporate bonds to bridge the financing gap for transitioning to renewable energy.

  • Establish a stable regulatory framework for the disposal or recycling of solar panels to increase confidence among investors and consumers.