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Empowering the Integration of Renewable Technologies and Strengthening the Resilience of Energy Systems in the Caribbean

USAID’s Energy Sector Reform project is advancing key energy security and climate adaptation objectives to improve self-reliance


To evaluate and enhance the resilience of energy systems, increase private sector investment opportunities in sustainable energy, and improve utility performance in 13 Caribbean countries.


Deliver technical assistance to utilities, ministries, regulators, and the private sector in Caribbean host countries, helping them make institutional and regulatory changes that accelerate the transition to sustainable energy. This assistance aims to support the development of policies, laws, regulations, tools, and processes that foster the design and operation of energy systems that are both resilient and modern.


Improve the availability of affordable and dependable electricity services while minimizing the occurrence of prolonged service disruptions. Introduce a range of sustainable energy solutions to the sector, reducing dependence on fossil fuels. 

Caribbean nations face significant development challenges in ensuring energy security, which involves providing affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy supplies to consumers. However, the deployment of resilient energy solutions remains a complex endeavor across the region, both financially and logistically.  

Despite the presence of abundant ​renewable energy resources​, most Caribbean islands rely heavily on imported fossil fuels, making their economies vulnerable to price shocks. Limited regulatory capacity and small-scale operations hinder investments in energy systems, resulting in outdated infrastructure and high service costs for consumers. Additionally, the region's frequent and severe weather events, such as hurricanes and tropical storms, pose constant catastrophic risks that further hamper the provision of uninterrupted energy services to Caribbean nations. 

Partnership to advance energy security and climate adaptation goals

The USAID Energy Sector Reform project is a collaborative effort between regional energy stakeholders, government entities, and the international donor community. Its primary objective is to advance key energy security and climate adaptation goals outlined in the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis (PACC 2030). The project’s areas of focus include: 

  • Accelerating private sector investment to modernize energy systems in 13 Caribbean countries.
  • Improving utility performance and expanding customer reach.
  • Enhancing regional energy resilience and institutional capacity. 

The project emphasizes integrating local stakeholder engagement, transparent knowledge dissemination, and training programs designed to be self-sustaining beyond the project's conclusion, with the aim of enhancing overall resilience and providing tailored solutions for each country, considering cultural sensitivity, communications support, and effective development partner coordination. 

Energy infrastructure assessments and planning

USAID’s Energy Sector Reform project is bolstering the operations, management, and planning of utilities. An essential aspect of achieving this involves incorporating climate-related disaster risk considerations to enhance resilience and reduce future energy costs for each utility organization.  

To align with regulatory changes, amendments to the grid code are being introduced, accompanied by actionable plans for expanding the infrastructure for transmitting and distributing electricity. Strategies to minimize losses will be developed, focusing on system-wide modernization and optimization, and web-based training sessions and events will be organized to ensure active participation from regional stakeholders, fostering their capacity in renewable energy integration and maintenance. 

Promoting investment for increased resilience 

The project will facilitate a transition from providing financial support solely for traditional, legacy infrastructure to promoting increased private sector investments in modern, diversified, affordable, and resilient technologies. This includes focusing on fostering public-private partnerships specifically for renewable energy investments, while also encouraging the development of innovative and scalable business and financing models. 

Collaboration and capacity building with local partners

In line with USAID's New Partnership Initiative and commitment to locally led development, the project supports the development and growth of key Caribbean energy organizations and their staff. By enhancing the capacity of these organizations, the Caribbean Energy Sector Reform project aims to foster sustainable outcomes that extend beyond the project's duration. 

Learn more about RTI's Center for Climate Solutions and work on energy for development