Energy projects on islands have an inspiring story to tell. Learn more about Åland’s project to become the first society based on 100% renewable energy sources.
The energy transition requires a place where to pilot and demonstrate a fully renewable energy system which is sustainable both technically and economically. With that idea in mind, the energy company Flexens saw an opportunity to develop and build a society scale energy system based on renewable energy sources on Åland together with the island government – an archipelago situated in the Baltic Sea with ideal wind and solar conditions. The government of this autonomous region has an ambitious climate and energy strategy for the population dedicated to sustainability.
On April 29, the energy project on Åland was presented during a webinar hosted by FEDARENE and presented by Tommy Lindström, Berndt Schalin and Christian Pleijel.
Tommy Lindström opened the floor by giving a brief history of islands cooperation such as the European IsleNet, which gave life to many island initiatives. A few decades of islands cooperation shows that when islanders choose to work together as one system, their synergies result in innovative solutions.
Presenting the Åland project, Berndt Schalin discussed Flexens’ motivations behind choosing the archipelago as a test-bed for the realisation of a self-sufficient sustainable society replicable by other European islands. He also discussed some key takeaways from the project, such as hydrogen as a solution to reduce carbon emissions from ferries – which are important mode of transportation for islanders.
At last, the webinar ended with a discussion about the concept of habitability. Finding out models of sustainability did not fit the small scale of his native island of Kökar, Christian Pleijel with the help of his community developed a tool to measure habitability based on seven factors: prosperity, trust and participation, clean water, ecosystem, attractiveness, energy and local economy.
Watch the recording of the webinar and discover an inspiring story about building a self-sufficient society based on the reality of island living.