The second Greening the Islands conference, to be held in Malta on Oct 28-30, features the inaugural edition of the Greening the Islands Awards as a way to recognise viable and innovative projects. The contest has drawn a broad range of participants in the following categories:
- Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
- Sustainable Mobility
- Public Awareness Campaigns
A five-member jury has been reviewing the entries and the winners will be announced at a gala dinner at the Phoenicia Hotel, Malta, on Thursday, October 29. Here are some perspectives from the jury members:
Konstantina Toli, Senior Programme Officer, Global Water Partnership – Mediterranean: “The Greening the Island Awards highlight the importance of embracing action towards sustainable and integrated management of water resources in a fragile insular environment. They seek to stimulate and inspire new and innovative approaches to address water-related challenges and showcase solutions as good practices that can be further replicated in other islands.”
Michela Miletto – Deputy Coordinator, UN World Water Assessment Programme
(WWAP): “Initiatives like Greening the Islands contribute to strengthen the assessment of water resources at the global and regional level. The topic revolving around the nexus approach – water, food, energy, environment – is central to the work carried out by the United Nations World Water Assessment Programme (UN WWAP) of UNESCO and it gets even more relevant when applied to fragile ecosystems like in SIDS. UN WWAP supports this effort and is pleased to share the findings of the World Water Development Reports in the hope that these recommendations can be broadly disseminated in order to make a positive influence on the water decision-making processes in island states.”
Joeri de Ridder, Chairman of the European Association for Battery, Hybrid and
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles and Vice-President of the World Electric Vehicle Association: “The Greening The Islands initiative highlights the big energy-challenges but more importantly the specific options and tailor-made sustainable solutions for their local (isolated and remote) and our global problems. We are sure that this also includes the option to move more rapidly and show-case to the rest of the world that true vision and a direct, hands-on approach can lead to a much faster uptake of good solutions and direct results for its ecology and the population. Of course for electromobility in combination with the generation of renewable energy, islands have a unique opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of this transition to sustainable transport and energy generation. Islands often have very vulnerable ecosystems, distances are limited and fossil fuels are often expensive. This creates in our view indeed opportunities for large-scale demonstration of the viability of electromobility.”
Other jury members are Emanuele Taibi , Islands Energy Transition Analyst , The International Renewable Energy Agency, Senior Programme Officer for Technology and Gonzalo Piernavieja Izquierdo, of ISLENET – Network of European Islands for Energy & the Environment.
Greening the Islands Awards candidate: HSBC Bank Malta reaches all the island’s schoolchildren in “Catch the Drop” campaign
Working towards more sustainable islands isn’t only about technology and infrastructure: it’s also a question of public awareness and changing everyday habits towards more responsible behaviours.
That’s the logic behind the three-year “Catch the Drop” campaign initiated by HSBC Bank Malta, which is aiming to reach out to every schoolchild in the country as a way to raise awareness about water issues, encourage conservation and efficient water use, and celebrate “good” water practices.“This campaign was not about making one-off donations but about partnerships and fostering of a new, environmentally-aware culture of thinking,” the bank comments, adding that its ambition is for the campaign to make a mark that goes well beyond its three years of activity (2013-2016).
Catch the Drop is the biggest ever national environmental and educational campaign ofits kind in Malta, aiming to reach all the island’s 50,000 schoolchildren and encourage schools, companies, NGOs, the general public and local councils to participate. The project benefited from € 500,000 funding from HSBC Group as part of the HSBC Water Programme.
“By reaching out to every single school child in Malta, the campaign is working toincrease awareness,” the bank explains. “This is far more important in reality than funding a more efficient desalination plant. Achieving sustainability is mostly about getting people to understand the responsibility they have for saving resources.” The project has held hundreds of presentations involving about 20,000 students a year and organised special celebrations to mark World Water Day and the 400th Anniversary of the Wignacourt Aqueduct as well as exhibitions and numerous school projects.
Greening the Islands Awards candidate: Project shows the advantages of electromobility at Malta port
Seeing is believing, so the saying goes. But for the port of Malta, a demonstration project targeted at showing the practicability of electromobility solutions ended up convincing the authority of the economic and environmental benefits of doubling its fleet of electric vehicles.
The PORT-PVEV project brought together national regulator Transport Malta and the Ministry for Transport and Infrastructure along with two port authorities in Sicily. The one-year demonstration project implemented in Valletta sought to show how carbon, air and noise emissions could be reduced from economic activities around the port. Its success comes as the Maltese government is offering grants of € 4,000 for electric vehicle purchase (and a further € 1,000 if an old petrol or diesel vehicle is de-registered at the same time).
The Malta project had three main elements: installation of 1,460 square meters of solar panels on the port administration buildings; installation of three solar car charging stations; and the operation of 13 electric vehicles. The set-up was studied in order to provide indications for ways to further decarbonise port areas. “The PORT-PVEV project was designed to combat [common] misconceptions by targeting both the public at large and, more specifically, private companies who own and operate large vehicle fleets,” commented the project partners. “The latter were considered to be the main target audience” because they will have the scale to deploy large numbers of electric vehicles and stand to benefit most from cost savings.
The result of the testing and evaluation done in the project suggested that deploying such electric vehicle solutions are part of a company fleet is not only feasible, but “highly advantageous”. The project found that using electric vehicles would save the port authority thousands of euros a year in fuel savings and that the infrastructure in place was sufficient to deploy a further 11 electric vehicles, meaning up to 92% of Transport Malta’s fleet could go electric. At the same time, carbon emissions would be reduced.
Greening the Islands Awards candidate: SMA technology helps Tongan islanders harvest the sun and reduce diesel dependence
The Tongan island of Vava’u in the South Pacific Ocean has traditionally relied on expensive diesel for its electricity generation, even though it basks in 1,500 hours of sunshine annually.
Today, thanks to technology from German company SMA, the island is getting about 13% of its annual electricity demand from solar energy and up to 70% of peak consumption in the middle of the day. The project means lower energy costs for the island and a reduced dependence on fossil fuels.
The greening of this Pacific island was made possible by a $5 million grant from the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (ADFEC). Ingenero constructed a 500-kilowatt ground-mounted solar farm on the island incorporating 21 SMA Sunny Tripowers as well as battery storage technology.
The advantage of the hybrid solution is that the solar farm is fully integrated into the island’s existing energy infrastructure, by its nature isolated from other networks. The 15,000 inhabitants of this archipelago reduce their diesel usage by 225,000 liters a year while greenhouse gas emissions are cut by 440 tonnes annually.
“The SMA Fuel Save Controller intelligently controls the PV diesel hybrid system,” the company explains. “By interacting with SMA inverters, it coordinates the demand-based control of optimized photovoltaics feed-in. The Fuel Save solution provides a secure energy supply with maximum efficiency.”
Greening the Islands Awards candidate: Greek island of Tilos, afflicted by blackouts, to test microgrid set-ups with active participation of local population
The inhabitants of the island of Tilos, in the Greek Agean Sea, know all about the problems of intermittent electricity supply. But the problem doesn’t lie with the much discussed intermittence of renewable energy sources but an unreliable undersea cable connecting them to diesel-powered generators on the nearby island of Kos. Blackouts are frequent, recently lasting as long as 7.5 hours.
Given the island’s suitability for wind and solar power and its connection to the grid ofanother island, Tilos is an ideal test bed for integrating local scale energy storage in a smart island microgrid. Fifteen partners have therefore come together to study three different scenarios on Tilos: a stand-alone microgrid; partial penetration of renewable energy sources on the island; and a virtually stand-alone microgrid interactingintelligently with the “host” grid. At the heart of the system is a FIAMM battery solution with a total useful capacity of 2.4MWh.
The Tilos case will have wider repercussions. Firstly, within Greece itself because there is about 1 gigawatt of diesel-burning generation dotted around the Aegean Sea, resulting in power costs of about 800 million euros a year, that could be replaced by renewables- based hybrid solutions. Secondly, the project partners are comparing results in Tilos with projects being deployed in places such as the German island of Pellworm.
Another key element of the project will be demand-side management, such as smart meters and controlled hot water storage, supported by training for the local population and studies of how islanders react to their new energy set-up.
“Owing to the fact that the island of Tilos is connected to another, host island, energy management will also consider energy exchange with the host grid to maximize the system benefits,” the project partners state. “That also relates to mainland cases, and can thus support system replication not only under stand-alone mode, but also in a market-integrated environment.”
Among others, Greening the Islands 2015 benefits from the support of the following
Ascot is an Italian manufacturing company operating internationally in the power energy sector mainly focused on the production of diesel generating sets, hybrid technologies & power plant, designed in accordance with the customer’s specifications and the varying climatic conditions. Originally established in 1973 Ascot has expanded our presence in over 59 countries. The Ascot brand is associated worldwide with high quality, pioneer power generation and hybrid technologies. Ascot strives to maintain the highest standards of quality, manufacturing its products in Italy using 100% European components, manpower and standards.
For more information: www.ascotinternational.com
Global Hybrid Power (GHP)
Global Hybrid Power is a hybrid technology solutions company dedicated to power energy markets. Hybrid technologies combine conventional and renewable power together with battery storage and an intelligent optimization operating system to deliver to any specific customer’s consumption requirements. Our customers are power consumers, generators, industrial commercial & utility companies. GHP operates in both developed and emerging markets where it is providing products and services for origination, construction, and operation of hybrid power plants that partially or entirely replace oil-fuelled power generating capacity.
For more information www.globalhybridpower.com
SMA Solar Technology
As a leading global specialist for photovoltaic system technology, SMA is setting the standards today for the decentralized and renewable energy supply of tomorrow. More than 4,000 SMA employees in 21 countries have devoted themselves to this task. Its innovative solutions for all photovoltaic applications and unsurpassed service offer SMA customers worldwide greater independence in meeting their energy needs. For over 30 years, SMA has helped hundreds of thousands of people and companies produce and consume energy independently according to their individual needs. In collaboration with customers and partners, SMA helps people around the world transition to a self- sufficient and decentralized energy supply.
For more information: www.sma.de/en/
SOPES operates in the area of applied economics and territorial planning, in the design and realisation of waterworks and all-purpose infrastructures, the protection of water resources as well as the management of water treatment plants. SOPES expertise is organised so as to provide all the services to complete the whole cycle of a project. The SOPES team has long experience of design, supervision of construction of waterworks and land-reclamation works as well as considerable competence in the management and maintenance of irrigation networks and in integrated engineering services for the realisation and management of sea-water desalination plants.
For more information: www.sopes.biz
Electric Vehicles is a company based in Modena, Italy, bringing together a group of business people and engineers with 15 years of experience in the design and production of electric and hybrid vehicles. The company converts commercial vehicles – for transporting either people or freight – into pure electric vehicles or hybrid/bimodal (diesel-electric) vehicles. EV works on leading brands such as Fiat, Iveco, Renault Trucks, Mercedes and Peugeot, giving vehicles a range of between 50 and 200km.
For more information: www.ev-srl.it