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View the documentNew Enlarged Report on 53 Islands

New Enlarged Report on 53 Islands

Renewable Energy on Small Islands - Second Edition


The new report is a little lexicon covering 53 islands’ experiences and plans for renew-able energy. Together with the first edition, which was published in 1998, it gives an overview of 71 islands.

By Thomas Lynge Jensen Island Project Coordinator, FED, Denmark

Thomas Lynge Jensen

A Little Lexicon

This second global overview of renewable energy on small islands presents 53 islands with experiences in renewable energy (RE) and/or plans for future renewable energy developments. The 53 islands are described in 34 chapters, with details on the island or island group, with information on population, area, and the renewable energy sources, and with data on their electricity capacity, production, potential related energy policy, plans, contact information, and references.

It includes a lot of new cases as well as updates of cases that were in the first edition (1998). However, it is still useful to look into the first edition, because it includes details about 18 islands that are only represented by brief summaries in this new version.

Major Findings Islands’ Important Role

Today, nearly all islands in the world are totally dependent on expensive and environmentally harmful fossil fuels for their energy needs. But islands have a unique potential for renewable energy - a competitive economic situation for renewable energy technologies, good renewable energy resources, and a positive attitude towards renewable energy.

Islands further are in a position to be leaders in RE, adopting highly visible re-search-and-demonstration projects in RE-related technology, organisational methods, and financing.

Globally, there is a need to demonstrate renewable energy in a large-scale (i.e., covering a very large fraction of demand, ed.), integrated, and organised form. This is not possible on mainlands and continents in the short and medium terms, for political, economic, technical, and organisational reasons. Therefore, islands are very important when it comes to the promotion of renewable energy worldwide.

Today, a very few islands already have some of the characteristics of a Renewable Energy Island and thereby use renewables extensively. La Desirade (France), Fiji, Samsoe (Denmark), Pellworm (Germany) and Reunion (France) are currently producing more than 50% of their electricity from renewable energy sources.

Some islands aim at becoming Renewable Energy Islands in the short or medium term. Samsoe (Denmark), Pellworm (Germany), Aeroe (Denmark), Gotland (Sweden), El Hierro (Spain), Dominica, and St. Lucia have adopted the explicit goal of becoming 100% self-sufficient from renewable energy sources.

All of the mature renewable-energy technologies have been used for electricity production on islands. Whether small or great in area, population, and power systems, in all climates and regions, developing and developed alike, many islands have acquired experience in harnessing some form of renewable energy. Consequently, there is good potential for future co-operation, exchange, and networking among islands, some are already far along the path of converting their energy systems into sustainable energy systems and others have just Started.

Report’s Objective

The objectives of this overview are:

· to document the feasibility of renewable energy on islands regarding environment, technology, organisation, economics, etc.; and

· to prepare for global co-operation and networking among islands that have decided to become Renewable Energy Islands, i.e., islands that are 100% self-sufficient from renewable energy sources.


The second edition is being financed by the European Commission (SYNERGY-and ALTERNER program), the Danish Energy Agency, and the Forum for Energy and Development (FED).

Please contact:

Thomas Lynge Jensen, Island Project Coordinator Forum/or Energy and Development (FED)
Blegdamsvej 4 B, 1st Floor 2200
Copenhagen N Denmark.
Ph: +45 35247713,
fax: +45 35247717,

The report can be downloaded in PDF format (1.6 MB) at the homepage of the Forum for Energy and Development:
The price for the report in print is US$ 30 postage included.

PV Solar Home System on the island of Atata in Tonga.