IPL Policy Brief Series
Shah KU (2021). Can Electric Vehicles Drive the Transport Revolution in Small Island States? IPL Policy Briefs Series, Issue #3, October 2021
The transportation sector is a major contributor to the global release of greenhouse gases. Electric vehicles have been widely accepted in the automobile industry, and will continue to become more popular. Island societies are the perfect locations to try to entirely transition to EVs. Their small surface area gives for less range anxiety, while their smaller population allows for the entire population to accept EVs more quickly. There is also higher potential for renewable energy on islands. In order to successfully carry out this type of major transition, there must be some proactive policy in place. Encouraging people to buy EVs through incentives and avoiding any negating policy is essential to convince the population to make this transition.
Raghoo P (2021). Precautionary Policy? The Wakashio Oil Spill in Mauritius. A hard lesson about coastal and marine management. IPL Policy Briefs Series, Issue #2, June 2021
Mauritius – a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) in the Indian Ocean – has faced its first major ecological disaster in 2020 with an oil spill catastrophe. In 2019, another similar disaster occurred in Rennell Island in the Pacific. In this policy brief, we document the oil disaster in Mauritius and discuss the lessons learnt for SIDS.
Shah K (2021). Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainability in Small Island States: Key Implications for Policy Practice. IPL Policy Briefs Series, Issue #1, February 2021
This Policy Brief follows the discussions of two online workshops the Island Policy Lab conducted in 2020. The webinars received speakers from different fields – academics, think-tanks, governmental officials and analysts from intergovernmental organizations – and discussed innovation and technology acquisition and implementation issues in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) as well as ways to improve efforts for SIDS to get access to newer technologies.
Shah KU, Raghoo P, Surroop D (2021). An institutional-based governance framework for Energy Efficiency promotion in Small Island Developing States. MDPI Climate , 9(6), 95
Energy efficiency and conservation policy continues to take the proverbial “backseat” to energy access and renewable energy policy discourses in small island developing states (SIDS). In this study, we intend to motivate the energy efficiency policy agenda to encourage more action. To do so, we review the current energy challenges in SIDS and the role of energy efficiency in addressing those challenges, discuss the trends in the rate of improvement in energy efficiency in SIDS, exhibit an updated list of energy efficiency programs and initiatives being implemented in SIDS, consider barriers to energy efficiency implementation and set forth a policy-focused plan to accelerate action. Barriers for the adoption of energy efficiency policies continue to be institutional and policy- and governance-oriented; economic and financial; informational; and technical. A four-pronged policy advancement approach tackling initiation, incentivization, information and investment is recommended to tap the potential gains from energy efficiency. We attempt here, based on our findings, to offer a more practically executable plan of action, focusing squarely on combining institutional arrangements, policy requirements and current energy efficiency affairs in SIDS.
Koon Koon R, Shah KU, Ashtine M, Lewis S (2021). A Resource and Policy Driven Assessment of the Geothermal Energy Potential across the Islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Frontiers in Energy Research, 9, 546367
The energy security of each Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member state is a key issue specifically addressed based on the energy demands of each nation. St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has the potential to strengthen its energy sector through the exploitation of immense untapped natural geothermal resources. Currently, SVG is planning to integrate base load power through a 10 Megawatt-electric (MWe) geothermal power plant (GPP1). The paper aims to highlight a detailed resource assessment profile of the renewables across SVG and the projected benefits of the proposed 10 MWe geothermal power potential, such as the positive economic development (displacing 149,000 bbls of crude oil), and the transition to a more climate-sensitive nation (displacing an estimated 0.172 million tCO2e/year). In addition, a volumetric method (Monte Carlo simulations) has been applied to reveal that the geothermal reservoir can sustain a minimum of 31 MWe, 34 MWe and 92 MWe over the lifespan of 25–30 years, for well 1 (SVG01), well 2 (SVG02) and well 3 (SVG03) respectively. Given the findings of the assessment and simulations, several policy approaches are identified as potential means of enhancing geothermal resource development and leveraging the resource for the islands’ sustainable energy demands. These include incentivization for public-private partnerships, information certainty, regulatory processes, and strengthened institutions.
Shah KU (2021). Preparing public health at the front lines: effectiveness of training received by environmental health inspectors in the Caribbean. International Review of Administrative Services, 0, 1-17
Environmental health departments in the Caribbean continue to contend with environmental determinants of health related to an increasingly complex array of challenges, including climatic change, disasters, pollution, bioterrorism, and global pandemics. Building the human resource capacity to meet these challenges requires access to modernized, context-relevant training, especially for environmental health inspectors who interface with the public. This study focuses on the standardized Three-Step training program delivered by education institutions across the Caribbean, which is the primary training required by ministries of health for entry into the environmental health inspectorate. A total of 22 focus groups were completed in five countries—Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago—with 94 participants drawn from the education institutions delivering training and the inspectors who have received the training. Findings suggest: program strengths in core academic content; weaknesses in faculty experts to deliver advanced subjects; opportunities for enhancing field-training experiences in collaboration with ministries; and threats to program survival due to bottlenecks in public sector hiring that reduce the attractiveness of entering the profession. Interestingly, academic trainers and practitioners differ on the importance of certain knowledge sets, such as legal and court procedural skills and epidemiological data analysis. As ministries of health in these countries contemplate ways to modernize the inspectorates, these findings can guide how ministries and education institutions work together to modernize the Three-Step training program.
Shah KU, Roy S, Chen WM, Surroop D (2020). Application of an Institutional Assessment and Design (IAD)-Enhanced Integrated Regional Energy Policy and Planning (IREPP) Framework to Island States. Sustainability, 12(7), 2765
The integrated regional energy policy and planning (IREPP) framework was devised to evaluate the feasibility of energy policies in meeting declared national targets. While the framework advances the comprehensiveness of the feasibility assessment by bringing in concepts like environment economic equity, the muted way in which institutional factors and capacity are addressed remains weak and ineffective. Here, we corrected this weakness by presenting an IREPP framework that is enhanced by integrating principles of the institutional assessment and design (IAD) framework. The IAD framework emphasizes the careful consideration of contextual factors, it draws attention to the full range of transaction costs, and does not presume a priori that one type of institutional arrangement. This IREPP-IAD framework was used to evaluate the feasibility of energy policies in three different island jurisdictions—Taiwan, Mauritius, and Trinidad and Tobago. With ambitious national targets, these islands are good testing grounds for this updated approach. Through qualitative comparative case study analysis, several institutional factors were found to play an influence if national energy policies are likely to meet set targets. These factors included: government/policy decision makers and the decision/policymaking environment; governance structure and commitment for energy policy; existing policy instruments and tools that are in play and those planned; polycentricity; stakeholder participation and community building; market dynamics; information transparency; pilot programs and technology innovations/research; compliance or responsibilities under the Paris Accord; grid connectivity and monitoring of the policy implementation progress. This study contributes in two ways. First, by providing a more robust framework for assessing institutional arrangements that moderate how energy policies are implemented and second, providing insightful assessments of the energy policies in three island jurisdictions, thereby increasing our understanding of island energy policymaking and implementation in these understudied geographies.
Shah KU, Niles K, Ali SH, Surroop D, Jaggeshar D (2019). Plastics Waste Metabolism in a Petro-Island State: Towards Solving a “Wicked Problem” in Trinidad and Tobago. Sustainability, 11(23), 6580
Island systems have limited geographical, ecological, and social capacity to metabolize waste materials produced by the economic activities of their growing populations. Conceptualized as a ‘wicked problem’, the faults and weaknesses in waste management systems on islands continue to cause acute and cumulative ecological and human health impacts. Trinidad and Tobago is one such island jurisdiction grappling with this situation, particularly being a petroleum-dependent economy. Through the lens of neo-institutional theory, this case study of waste management in Trinidad and Tobago unpacks the efforts, reactions, drivers and circumstances that have led to various successes and failures but no definitive solutions over time, especially regarding plastics and packaging materials. We identify three temporal phases of policy evolution that have altered the waste metabolism trajectory to date: (1) government led patriarchal approach of traditional landfilling combined with behavioral change campaigns to reduce, reuse, and recycle, (2) to a more democratic, shared burden, public-private partnership approach combined with attempts at incentive-based regulations, (3) to the present, more private sector-led voluntary bans on production and use of plastics. This study contributes to our understanding of the institutional factors that shape the search for solutions to the wicked problem of island waste metabolism.
Books & Book Chapters
Shah KU, Dulal HB, Awojobi M (2020). Food Security and Livelihood Vulnerability to Climate Change in Trinidad and Tobago. In: Connell J, Lowitt K (eds) Food Security in Small Island States, Springer, pp. 219-237
Household-level food security in coastal wetland communities in Trinidad and Tobago experience increasing challenges in the face of climatic change. These communities rely heavily on natural resources and agriculture for their livelihoods. Household data were collected from 138 households in the Nariva and Caroni communities focusing on gender and socio-demographic structure, livelihood strategies and social networks; exposure to climate change and climate-induced extreme weather events, such as floods and droughts; and access to services and infrastructure. Using regression analyses, the influences of adaptive capacity to climate change on food security were analysed by gender, household and communities. Household socio-demographic structure and livelihood strategies were strongly related to food security and food security was reduced in the face of climate variability and disaster. Household social networks households had no significant influence. These conclusions offer directions for community and national planners and policy makers in Trinidad and in other similar country circumstances where climate change is significant.
Timilsina G, Shah KU (2020). Energy Technologies for Sustainable Development Goal 7. In: Adenle AA et al. (Eds) Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development Goals, Oxford University Press, pp. 36-63
Abstract not available for this book chapter. Click on link to proceed directly to the book chapter.
Shah KU (2021). Air Pollution in Small Island Developing States: A Growing but Avoidable Challenge requiring multi-level interventions. The Ramphal Institute, UK
Small Island Developing States (SIDS), like many other places globally, are dealing with air pollution challenges. While not considered as expansive a challenge as perhaps the largest urban cities in the developing world, SIDS fragile economic and environmental conditions, limited technological and human capacities, small economies of scale, high vulnerability to natural disasters and climate change exacerbate the magnitude of stressors like poor air quality.
Timilsina G, Shah KU (2020). Are Renewable Energy Technologies Competitive? ICUE 2020 on Energy, Environment and Climate Change. Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, 20-22 October 2020
The electricity generation cost of a technology is often measured in terms of levelized cost of electricity or LCOE despite fundamental flaw is that it treats the intermittent and no-dispatchable renewable technologies equally with the fully dispatchable electricity generation technologies. The LCOE of renewable energy, particularly solar and wind, has been rapidly falling over time as the capital costs that include not only the cost of equipment but also the entire installation of the plant is falling including balance of system (BoS) and soft costs. One would wonder why have the costs of renewable energy, particularly solar, falling down? A comparison of LCOE reported by various sources or studies is often misleading, and therefore such a comparison should be avoided. The objective of this article is to illustrate the levelized costs of electricity generation with the values of LCOE estimated from various sources. We also present the declining trends of renewable energy costs and try to explain the potential drivers of the decline. We also explain the factors that affect the LCOE and present renewable energy cost trends with the discussion of the potential drivers of the declining trend and how.
Our Mission • The Island Policy Lab aims to finding solutions to the unique challenges faced by island nations. We conduct research and run educational programs on islands sustainable development.
Contact • Biden School of Public Policy & Administration, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA · Email: email@example.com