Title: Accelerating the decarbonisation of islands’ energy systems

Programme: Horizon 2020   
Duration:  10/2020 – 9/2025
Website: ISLANDER Project (islander-project.eu)
About the project:

The ISLANDER project will showcase the process of making the German island of Borkum a fully autonomous and decarbonised island energy system and replicate the results in a number of EU islands.

Borkum is an island of about 30 km2 and 5,500 residents, located 20 miles from the north-western coast of Germany. Following concerns of the population regarding air quality due to a new coal fired power plant, Borkum started on a path towards renewable energy many years ago. Following several initiatives in that direction including a citizen dialogue, the island decided to become emission-free and fully decarbonized by 2030. The ISLANDER project will focus on delivering:
  • Distributed RESS systems (Renewable Energy + Small-scale Storage).
  • Complementary short-to-seasonal, large-scale electricity storage.
  • Seawater district heating coupled with heat storage and sized for 100 residential units, to make use of the heat of the North Sea water as a source of heating and cooling.
  • Deployment of an EV charging network.
  • A smart IT platform conceived to holistically perform the optimal aggregation of all these components while also implementing Demand Response (DR).
  • An optimisation tool to optimally design zero-carbon island energy systems.
To achieve such 2030 objectives of financing and maintaining the further roll-out of renewables and storage technologies across the island, the ISLANDER partners will facilitate the kick-start of a Renewable Energy Community in Borkum right during the project following a concrete roadmap.

Additionally, and as part of an ambitious plan to replicate the project results, the partners have developed a 3-wave replication strategy including:
  • Wave 1) Replication in the Follower islands, namely: the Scottish island of Orkney, the Croatian island of Cres, and the Greek islands of Skopelos and Lefkada.
  • Wave 2) Replication in the related archipelagos. The partners will take advantage of the fact that Borkum and the Follower islands are within archipelagos that have extensive replication opportunities, specifically: the East Frisian islands (related to Borkum), the Western and Shetland Isles (related to Orkney), the Kvarner Gulf islands (related to Cres), the Sporades archipelago (related to Skopelos) and the Ionian islands (related to Lefkada).
  • Wave 3) Further replication to the rest of EU islands by means of the synergies with the ‘Clean Energy for EU islands’ initiative, the coordination with the BRIDGE initiative, the cooperation with the European Islands Facility (LC-SC3-ES-8-2019), and the extensive dissemination measures of the partners (including a public facing showroom in Borkum for improving the visibility to the solutions proposed).