Dominica is reliant on imported fossil fuels, leaving it vulnerable to global oil price fluctuations that directly impact the cost of electricity. The island revised its 2011 National Energy Plan in 2014 to state its objective of using sustainable and indigenous resources to become self-sufficient with regard to electricity generation by 2020, and to describe a scenario in which it becomes a net exporter of electricity from its geothermal resources. Renewable energy installations have the potential to lower the fuel charge portion of electricity rates and increase the reliability of electricity services through appropriate planning and operating procedures. Small solar energy generation units can contribute to the energy transition in Dominica. However, the island has not yet identified the feasibility and benefits of expanding self-sufficient renewable energy generation solutions that can reduce fossil fuel dependency.
In addition, Dominica has an abundance of rivers and water sources. Supply systems are generally adequate to meet the demand. However, at some periods during the dry season, intermittent shortages can be experienced in a few of the systems. The Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Policy mentions that in order to minimize problems associated with droughts, the Dominican Government will encourage and support optimization of the storage facilities to contain wet season runoff for use in the dry periods. In order to sustain water supply, the Government will promote harnessing and utilizing rainwater from roof catchments for individual households in cisterns or on a small scale in surface storage tanks, and developing a program to support retrofitting public buildings with water efficiency and conservation measures.
The overall objective of the technical assistance is to develop a technical and economic feasibility analysis of small solar generation units and water storage systems on public buildings in Dominica. The activities include the development of implementation planning and communication documents, review of existing solar generation units, analysis of current electricity and water consumption patterns and identification of appropriate technical options, identification of relevant stakeholders, impact analysis, financial feasibility analysis and modeling scenarios, and analysis of current barriers.
The technical assistance will chart a development pathway with economic, environmental, social and cultural co-benefits, as well as an emphasis on gender equality. Potential benefits include the creation of new jobs in the solar value chain, increased resilience of public buildings to future infrastructure damage from extreme climatological events, increased renewable energy utilization and reduced dependence on fossil fuels, and the promotion of a culture of sustainable development among the population.
The assistance will contribute to the achievement of Dominica’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which proposes mitigation measures to enhance resilience such as the “Solar Photovoltaic (PV) conversion program for Commercial, Institutional and Manufacturing Facilities” that includes schools, universities, hospitals, commercial buildings, manufacturing plants, government buildings, and municipal facilities.