Over the next year and a half, the country will shift to 100% renewable energy, at no cost to the government, in what is likely to be the fastest national transition to renewable energy ever to occur. In a new program, the partners behind the work in Palau plan to now help other small island nations do the same thing.
Technology is helping drive Palau’s transition. When the country’s president happened to meet the CEO of Gridmarket–an analytics company that originally spun out of a public-private partnership in New York City after Hurricane Sandy–at a large environmental tech conference called EarthX in 2017, the two realized that they could work together. Gridmarket’s predictive analytics and mapping platform uses AI to analyze a city or region property-by-property, create a strategic plan for renewable energy, and then creates a digital marketplace for solar panel manufacturers and other solution providers to bid on the job.