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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

An Analysis of the Energy Sector in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Caribbean Region and a Transition Pathway Towards Sustainable Energy: the Case of Haiti, Turks and Caicos Islands and Trinidad and Tobago

Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) in the Caribbean region have immense potential to drive a substantial transition from fossil fuel power generation to renewable energy systems; however, this potential is currently underutilised and understudied. Despite the abundance of natural resources that can be used for renewable energy (RE), SIDS in the region are heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels to meet their energy needs, including for electricity and transportation. This research aims to analyse the energy sector in SIDS in the Caribbean, particularly Haiti, the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), and Trinidad and Tobago (T&T). It also aims to identify the untapped potential of RE systems, evaluate the barriers thahinder the deployment of RE systems, and recommend a policy framework to bridge the RE gap in the region.  

The first part of the study analyses the energy sector in SIDS in the Caribbean region with a focus on three national case study countries. The second part evaluates the issues faced in the energy sector, explores the RE potentials, and identifies the barriers that hinder the implementation of RE systems in the region. In the third part, the researcher proposes a new federation, the United States of the Caribbean (USC), and develops a new strategy, the Regional Sustainable Energy Policy Framework (RSEPF), to assist the region with its transition towards sustainable energy. The research is based on interviews and questionnaires conducted with energy experts in the Caribbean and on a review of literature and reports obtained from government and international institutions in Haiti, TCI and T&T.  

This thesis concludes that, to transition from fossil fuel power generation to RE systems, the Caribbean must implement an appropriate framework policy driven under the umbrella of a new federation, the USC. It further concludes that regional policy framework such as the RSEPF can be used to promote sustainable energy in disjointed groups of countries. 


Course Overview


The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.


An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.


An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.


An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.