There are more and more inspiring cases of islands switching from 100% diesel generators to 100% renewable powered energy grids.
This morning I came across the case of Flinders Island in Tasmania, Australia that will fulfill most of its 6.7 GWh annual demand with a hybrid energy hub comprising one wind turbine (900kW), solar system (200kW), battery storage (300kWh)m, flywheel (850kVA), dynamic resistor (1.5MW). The Flinders Island hybrid energy hub is an evolution of the system already deployed on King Island, Tasmania, that supplies an average of 60% renewable energy to the local grid (source: One step off the grid, Nov 8th, 2017) .
Yesterday, I was reading about the exciting plans to power Cape Verde, off Senegal along the Western African coast, with affordable 100% renewable energy over the next 10 years. Cape Verde current annual energy demand of 360GWh is met primarily by oil generators with renewables contributing around 25% from solar systems and wind turbines. Different scenarios to achieve the 100% renewable goal are envisaged from a system based on solar, wind and energy storage with batteries and pumped hydropower; to using proven geothermal energy technologies — Cape Verde are volcanic islands — or more innovative ocean thermal energy conversion technologies that produce electricity using the difference between warm surface water and cold deep ocean water; to a system that integrates desalination plants — the main suppliers of water to the communities — that would operate when energy demand is low, during the night (source: quartz, Nov 7th, 2017).
Kauai in the Hawai is on a similar trajectory using a combination of primarily solar generation and battery storage (source: Ars Technica, Nov 8th, 2017), like the island of Ta’u in American Samoa is doing with the help of Tesla/Solarcity.
Nearer to home, the Isles of Scilly are working towards a 100% renewable energy future with the interesting addition of electric vehicles as an integral part of the new smart grid, playing a load balancing and storage role (source: Smart Islands, Nov 8th, 2017).
These islands are truly prefiguring the energy infrastructure of the future, combining smart technologies, cooperatives, local community energy projects, micro-grids and multiple sources of renewable energy generation and storage.
PS: this article is part of Climate Reality Project’s 100% Committed campaign that works with universities, cities, mountain communities, and businesses worldwide to support their transition to 100-percent renewable electricity by 2030 or sooner.