Tilos: the first energy autonomous island in the Mediterranean

In the summer of 2017, the island of Tilos became known through two awards it won at the EU Sustainable Energy Awards. The island won the first prize in the category for the Green Islands but also in the category for the audience award for the TILOS project.

Launched in 2015, TILOS aims at the energy autonomy of the remote island, in a project involving thirteen partners from seven European countries. The project is led by the Laboratory of Mild Energy and Environmental Protection of the University of Piraeus, while also participating HEDNO, WWF-Hellas and private sector entities active in the field of renewable energy sources.

The implementation of the project includes the installation of hybrid Renewable Energy Resources system, combining a wind turbine with photovoltaic park and the storage of electricity in advanced technology batteries. The initial goal of the program was to meet the needs of the island by at least 60-70% and later by 100% with the possibility of exporting the energy surplus to the island of Kos, through a submarine power cord.

Upon completion of the project, this power generation system will cover the needs of the island, both for the 400 permanent residents, as well as for 13,000 visitors each year. At the same time, the European Commission intends to use the project as a guide for similar projects on other small islands in the European Union, in a move that will change what we knew about electrifying island areas. This is also the reason why the European Union has largely funded the project, providing A$7mn out of the total A$9mn of the budget.

Storing energy

Converting energy into easily stored fuels is a good solution:

  1. Water electrolysis and hydrogen production, potentially as intermediate storage (conversion utilisation rate of up to 63%)
  2. Conversion into synthetic methane (3 H2 + CO2 → CH4 + 2 H2O), also called P2G (conversion efficiency rate of up to 57%). The methane is stored in subsoil storage tanks with almost no losses, resulting in an expenditure factor of 1.75 kWh/kWh.

#energystorage #hydrogen #renewableenergy #carbonemissions #netzero

nZEB buildings in Europe

The EPBD requires all new buildings from 2021 (public buildings from 2019) to be nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEB). According to Article 2 “nearly zero-energy building” means a building that has a very high energy performance, as determined in accordance with Annex I. The nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extent from renewable sources, including sources produced on-site or nearby.

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