The “Island” program aims to achieve the energy autonomy of three small Greek islands, Chalkis, Kastellorizo and Antikythera, by the end of 2025. By applying innovative technologies and with a budget of 2.5 million euros from the Recovery Fund, they are planned to become “Green Island” standards at European and international level, upgrading the lives of residents, stimulating tourist interest and protecting their ecosystem.

Their decarbonization will be achieved with “green” electricity generation from Renewable Energy Sources (RES), which will also support the use of electric vehicles. At the same time, energy storage accumulators will be installed so that no kilowatt-hour goes to waste, while water resources, waste water and waste management projects will also be constructed.

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The project is coordinated by the director of the Institute of Sustainable Mobility and Transport Networks and vice-president of the National Center for Research and Technological Development (EKETA), Dr. Evangelos Bekiaris, while two Institutes of EKETA, the National Observatory of Athens, the Hellenic Center for Marine Research as well as the Universities of Western Attica and Piraeus.

One megawatt unit

In particular, a pilot plant of one megawatt (MW) will be installed on the island of Halki, which will take advantage of the potential of wave energy by “taming” the waves of the sea, which are an inexhaustible source of clean energy. Also, special electric vehicles (two scooters, three skates and one car) will be purchased. These will work with V2G (Vehicle To Grid) technology that allows energy to be transferred back to the grid from an electric vehicle’s battery, so that in periods of high demand (e.g. during the tourist season) to be able to release the stored energy into the system.

Also, a four-acre “green” park will be developed, which will demonstrate the interventions of the “Island” in an interactive way so that the residents and visitors of Halki, as well as those interested from other islands, understand the functions and the benefits that arise for local communities from sustainable development technologies.

“Smart Card”

As part of the program, an application for smart phones will also be created in Halki, which the visitor will use to certify his “green” actions and based on them he will have some privileges or discounts in other activities, e.g. to rent an electric vehicle or mini-vehicle, to use an electric charger, to enter the interactive green park, etc. as in museums, ferry tickets, etc.

The “smart card” will then be implemented in Kastellorizo as well. In addition, a charger for electric vehicles will be installed in Megisti, while a special electric vehicle for cleaning (sweeper) will be purchased, small in size to move around the island’s alleys. A smart solar trash can will also be installed, with a special compressor to reduce the volume of waste.

For Antikythera, the energy autonomy of the Geosciences and Climate Change Observatory, the famous “Pangaia” superstation of the National Observatory of Athens, is planned, with the installation of a photovoltaic system. At the same time, electrical demand management and power storage techniques will be integrated in the small island in order to achieve energy savings.

Sustainable management

More generally, the islands will test pilot applications concerning the sustainable management of their natural water resources, solid and liquid waste in the context of the circular economy (sustainable waste management and advanced recycling systems), the development of a chain of sustainable mobility systems, including green navigation (e.g. electric ships, “green” electrification of docked ships, etc.).

The planning of the program also includes the development of a methodology for the calculation of the carbon footprint, energy savings in the building sector, the optimization of the energy class for a lower energy footprint, the development of a coherent plan for sustainable and green tourism utilization and a shared electric vehicle fleet, etc. In addition, a software platform will be created in which data on energy production and demand, water resources and environmental data will be collected and analyzed.

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