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Adoption of sea water air conditioning (SWAC) in the Caribbean: Individual vs regional effects

Arias-Gaviria, Jessica
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.227 pp. 280-291
air conditioning, dynamic models, funding, islands, issues and policy, markets, multidimensional scaling, renewable energy sources, seawater, Barbados, Curacao, Jamaica
Seawater air conditioning (SWAC) is a sustainable alternative for the Caribbean's energy challenges. Despite their vast potential, current sustainability plans and renewable energy incentives in the Caribbean exclude ocean technologies, and thus, the adoption of SWAC remains limited. A multidimensional scaling analysis was performed to classify the potential market for SWAC into three clusters, and to measure similarities among the Caribbean islands. Such similarities were used to complement a system dynamics model to include the effect of cross-country word-of-mouth on SWAC adoption rates. With the improved model, this study simulated policy incentives to SWAC promotion in five countries and compared the effectiveness of country-level versus regional-level incentives. Results suggest that, by 2030, renewable air conditioning use in the Caribbean could reach 36% if the countries adopt individual policies. This percentage could increase up to 60% if they adopt a regional policy. Results suggest that the regional policies are the most effective to impulse the adoption of SWAC, which in turn contributes to attaining sustainable energy targets. Financing institutions should distribute investment among the interested countries and allocate a higher percentage in the smallest states such as Barbados or Curacao, instead of supporting only big countries such as Jamaica.