Skip Navigation Links.

Search for publications:

Limit search to the fields

ECN publication
Technology needs for island renewable energy systems
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Solar Energy 1-7-1999
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-RX--99-022 Article (scientific)
Number of pages:

Published in: Paper presented at the Island Solar Summit Conference, Tenerife, [Spain], May 7-8, 1999 (), , , Vol., p.-.

In the early eighties, during the start of the modern renewable energydevelopment period, relatively much attention was paid to utilising wind and solar energy systems to provide electricity to remote, isolated communities without any energy infrastructure. As the supply of wind and solar energy varies stochastically in time, energy supply and energy demand do not match most of the time. To provide security of supply, a storage system is needed, which absorbs energy during periods that supply exceeds demand and supplies energy in times that the situation is reversed. Storage of energy in general and of electricity in particular is very expensive. So in order to overcome this cost problem solutions were sought in so called autonomous - hybrid - systems where wind turbines and/or solar photovoltaic (PV) systems were working in parallel to diesel units. Many experiments were carried out and more than 10 research establishments had more or less comprehensive development programmes. Looking back from the present situation, one can conclude that all the development efforts on autonomous systems only had limited success, contrary to grid connected wind and solar PV systems, which grew to an annual $ 4 billion world market (and is still growing by some 25 % annually). The need for independent island renewable energy system has not changed since. Analysing and understanding the reasons why this happened could provide us with the conditions for a real successful revival of the development and market implementation of autonomous systems. 3 refs.

Back to List