On Islands Renewable Energy is up to 75% Less Expensive than Diesel

Richard Branson’s Necker Island and Alcatraz are just the tip of the iceberg – THEnergy Launches Online Platform for Renewable Energy on Island Locations

 

Islands have to deal with highly elevated electricity costs because it is very expensive to transport fuel. Normally, smaller islands are powered by diesel-gensets that pollute the air and are very noisy. Tourism plays an important role on many islands. Wind and solar energy can reduce direct air pollution and the noise level to a large extent. In addition, islands are particularly exposed to the consequences of climate change and many island communities strive to serve as an example in the fight against global warming.

It is no surprise renewable energy applications are of special interest for islands. A huge number of pilot projects for both wind and solar power plants, have already been realized – amongst many others a PV-diesel hybrid installation on the Alcatraz prison island and a PV-Wind-Diesel hybrid plant on Richard Branson’s private Necker Island. In comparison to the total untapped potential this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Many advantages of renewable energy have not been fully communicated, which is why island decision makers are paying more and more attention to renewable energy topics. There is a significant demand for information on both sides.

“The objective of THEnergy is to accelerate the application of renewable energy on islands by providing missing information,” points out Dr. Thomas Hillig, founder of THEnergy. One of the key elements of the Renewables & Islands platform (th-energy.net/islands) is a plant database for wind and solar systems on islands.

“Successful examples of the same application often accelerate the spread of a technology. They eliminate existing doubts to a large extent,” explains Hillig. By using the platform, island communities, tourism entities or private island owners can learn about renewable energy players that are already experienced in this field.

The platform also collects background information such as technical overviews and business models. Regularly, reports and white papers will be published. Finally, a blog allows for discussions among experts and players that are new to the field.

The best business case can be observed for hybrid power plants. These are solar or wind power systems that are combined with or integrated into existing diesel power plants. On islands, wind and solar energy are often more than 75% less expensive than electricity from diesel, especially in remote areas where transportation accounts for a large share of the total diesel cost.

 

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Hillig founded THEnergy in 2013. THEnergy is a specialized business consultancy that focuses on innovation in the energy sector, such as microgrids, solar-diesel hybrid, energy storage and hydrogen. THEnergy has developed sophisticated tools to support its clients in product launches and growth strategies. During the last six years, THEnergy has consulted leading multinational utilities, oil and gas companies, and start-ups regarding energy strategy, due diligence, market intelligence, and communication. THEnergy combines Hillig’s previous experiences working at Alstom Power in conventional energy generation and at Innotech Solar. At the beginning of his career, Hillig consulted leading companies from the transport, telecommunication and construction sectors.

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