PLATFORM: Renewable Energy on Islands

Small islands have to deal often with very high electricity prices. The fuel, which is in many cases diesel, is transported on small boats to these islands. Transportation makes up for a large part of the total electricity costs. Renewable energy is normally very cost competitive. Solar and wind power plants only need to be transported once, after that no fuel is required and maintenance requirements are low.

Depending on the effective diesel prices experts estimate that cost reductions of up to 75% are possible by using renewable energy instead of diesel generators. The potential of renewable energy on smaller islands is estimated to be far beyond 30 GW.

Small isolated systems allow for learning about our decentralized energy systems of the future. Solar- and wind-diesel-hybrid-systems can form powerful mini-grids. As well large utilities such as E.ON, AES and Dong Energy have identified small islands as a ttarget segment for their future business.

Main elements of the platform "Renewables on Islands"

In the meantime quite a lot renewable energy installations have been built on smaller islands. However, this will be only the tip of the iceberg (see developments). The platform covers for more main sections.

Overview platform "Renewables on Islands"
Overview platform "Renewables on Islands"

Island off-takers can get involved to different degrees into renewable energies. They can invest or co-invest into wind or solar power plants. There are several providers who offer leasing contracts for solar power plants. Finally, island off-takers can buy electricity through PPAs from renewable plants.

The plant database displays power plants with the following technologies:

  • Solar power plants
    • PV
    • CPV
    • CSP
    • solar thermal
  • Wind power plants

There are different applications:

  • wind- or solar-diesel-hybrid-power plants (diesel reduction)
  • renewable energy power plants with PPAs in a microgrid
  • plants that deliver process heat (solar thermal)

At this stage neither biomass (or biogas) nor hydro power plants are included. In addition, cases in which the island is connected by a sea-cable are not included in the database either.

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Dr. Thomas Hillig Energy Consulting
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