About the project

How can decarbonizing islands lead to cost effective energy systems?

In the EU, 15 million people live on 2,400 inhabited islands, whose energy systems are usually small and isolated microsystems.

Their energy systems are often:

3 to 4


Energy cost in islands is 3 to 4 times more expensive than in the mainland.

2 to 3


Having 2 to 3 times higher average carbon intensity than mainland.

10 times


Up to 10 times higher losses than EU-28 average.

50% power

Very dependent

On external supply , over 50% power generation relies on fossil fuel imports, which accounts for more than 10% of the islands’ GDP.

Scaling up renewables, energy efficiency, storage and clean transport, are the key challenges that can lead to a more stable supply of cheaper and cleaner energy, as well as to an island energy self-sufficiency and security of supply, while contributing to the fight against climate change.

In addition, investments on clean energy can benefit local population, create local jobs and growth, encourage tourism and better preserve the environment.

Overall, the decarbonisation of the islands will increase both their resilience and economic viability and thus will bring significant benefits including climate change mitigation and adaptation, a decrease in the trade balance deficit, less exposure to volatile fuel prices, more self-reliant electricity supply, lower environmental risks associated to fossil fuels imports as well as multiplier effects through lessons learned at local level, in the region and internationally.