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Financing renewable energy projects in the Dominican Republic: An empirical studyPurpose Currently, Renewable Energy (RE) sources represent a crucial pillar in obtaining sustainable development, one of the global goals for all countries. However, this presents a unique challenge for emerging and developing countries. Since, the technical and financial issues remain a significant barrier in implementing RE projects several mechanisms are available to aid the financial aspect of investing and implementing clean energy projects. This paper discusses new and traditional trends in the financial area of renewable investment, focusing on the Dominican Republic (DR), identifying the gaps in the financial area regarding RE. Design/methodology/approach An empirical study was conducted in the Dominican Republic. This country is located at the heart of the Caribbean. Given the complexity of RE and developing countries issues and the scarcity of comparable research in the area, an interpretivist research paradigm along with the qualitative methodology was adopted. Primary data was collected through semi-structured interviews. The study sample includes: Directors, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Managers responsible for the implementation of RE strategies in their respective departments/organisations. NVivo software was used for data management and the collected data was analysed using content analysis. Findings The research highlighted several severe financial handicaps regarding RE in the DR: The lack of RE assets recognition; Lack of RE investment loans; Perceived RE risk; and Lack of financial guarantor. After extensive interviews with critical actors in the RE sector in the DR, the possible solutions and recommendations for avoiding locking the energy and economic sector in fossil fuel debt, are: (a) diversification of RE technology assets recognition (b) implementation of government RE fund (c) RE education on all actors (d) introduction and adoption of new financial trends such as: green bonds, bank pooling, cooperatives and more. Originality/value This paper provides information and knowledge related to financial tools and policies that are available for the RE projects in the DR. The results have a socio-economic impact. This research provides a better understanding of the key financial tools to be explored by RE project developers in the developing countries. This study shows the gaps that exist between the knowledge that the stakeholders should possess and the actual knowledge that exists in the country regarding the financial aspect of an RE project.