Energy transition in the Dominican Republic: Promoting renewable energy and achieving climate targets
Title: Promoting a Low-Carbon Energy System for the Achievement of the Climate Objectives of the Dominican Republic
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) as part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI)
Country: Dominican Republic
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Energy and Mines of the Dominican Rebublic (MEM)
Term: 2017 to 2022
The Dominican Republic primarily generates its electricity using fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal. Approximately one-third of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions originate in the energy sector.
The Dominican Republic is one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America. Subsequently resulting in a rising energy demand and increasing greenhouse gas emissions.
In its climate targets, the Dominican Republic has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by one-third by 2030 compared with existing levels in 2010. The Dominican Republic passed legislation on renewable energy in 2007 as part of its endeavors to achieve these targets. The main objective of this law is to increase the contribution of renewable energy sources in electricity generation to 25 per cent by 2025. Between 2011 and 2017, the energy obtained from the sun, water and wind increased more than fortyfold, from 14 to 562 gigawatt hours. For example, in 2018 the largest solar park in the Caribbean was completed in Montecristi. The project was financed with German funding and headed up by German companies. Expansion of the current 58 megawatts of installed capacity to 116 megawatts is planned for 2019.
However, despite the strong expansion, renewable energy sources still make up only a very small part of the energy mix. There is still a degree of skepticism among the public, policy-makers and businesses.
Dominican climate and energy policies are accomplishing the transition to a low-emission, climate-friendly and sustainable energy sector. This is enabling the Dominican Republic to achieve its national climate targets and meet its international obligations.
GIZ is working closely, with the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) and 16 other partners from the energy sector in the Dominican Republic, to help promote renewable energy, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and support reforms in the energy sector.
For example, approval procedures are to be accelerated and innovative financing mechanisms developed to promote investment in renewable energy. In addition, the project supports voluntary national climate action (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions, NAMAs) and efforts to achieve national climate targets (Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs).
Pilot projects with public participation (community energy) and the involvement of cooperatives and municipalities aim to increase acceptance among the population.
GIZ and its partners are improving the institutional and regulatory framework for promoting renewable energy. It is hoped that simplified approval and tender procedures (one-stop shop) will facilitate investment in renewable energy. In addition, new financing instruments are being introduced and training courses offered for local banks, which currently have very few attractive products for financing renewable energy.
Communication activities and training courses for journalists will increase public knowledge about renewable energy and climate change, thus reducing skepticism.
Working in conjunction with public institutions and private companies in the energy industry, GIZ is creating a greenhouse gas inventory for the energy sector to define, prioritize and deliver potential savings.
Grid operators will receive training on integration issues in Germany and the Dominican Republic, along with advice on grid codes. A study will identify national solar and wind energy potential. The project is providing support with the development of a forecasting system that will make a better integration of fluctuating energy sources into the grid possible and predict fluctuations.