Solving the Energy and the Water Demand Problem for Remote Islands

The existence of more than 85,000 islands consist of a particular characteristic of the global geography. Focusing on the East Mediterranean region, the Aegean Archipelagos, is an area of great interest, where one may find an extensive number of islands of various sizes, with more than two hundred (≈227) being inhabited. In most of these islands water and energy are two fundamental resources with the supply of one highly dependent on the availability of the other.

The recognition that their scarcity affects the socio-economic development has resulted in a growing interest of policy makers in the so-called “Water-Energy Nexus”. Actually, the water-energy (WE) supply problem influences all types and sizes of contemporary communities around the globe due to the spatial characteristics of the water availability, also challenged by the availability and the security of energy supply.

On the other hand, the majority of all these Aegean Archipelagos islands has an excellent wind potential (the annual mean wind speed at 10m height exceeds 9 m/s) and very high solar potential (1500-1850 W/m2, at horizontal level).

To address the challenges related to local people status of living and the attraction of high quality touristic activity, radical changes are required in energy and water consumption, energy production and the available tourism infrastructure.

In this context, the current work presents an integrated methodology, which has the ability to provide financially viable and environmental optimum solutions concerning the solution of the energy and the water demand problem for remote islands.

According to the results obtained from the application of the proposed solution to representative medium-sized Aegean Sea islands, there is remarkable possibility to solve the energy and water demand problem by the exploitation of the local RES potential in combination with an appropriate energy storage unit.

In any case, the proposed methodology may serve as a decision making tool and hopefully determines the foundations for encouraging clean green energy and water production solutions in islands of comparable specifications in the wider Mediterranean region.