There are some interesting projects going on concerning renewable energy and sustainability in islands. One of them is being developed in the Canary Island of El Hierro, a biosphere reserve from 2000, which aims to be a 100% RES island.
The Government of the island, Unelco-Endesa and ITC (the Technical Institute of the Canary) collaborate on this project whose objective is creating a 100% sustainable island. The supply of renewable energy will be possible by using a mixed system which combines a hydroeolic power plant (11,5 MW wind farm and 11,3 MW hydroelectric power plant), grid-connected photovoltaic system, solar thermal collectors and wind technologies in residential areas.
The hydroeolic power plant should come online in 2012.
The project also considers producing biogas from waste and an alternative sustainable transport system for the island and its 11.000 inhabitants as well as seawater desalination. In fact, the water-energy binomial is an essential part of this project,
El Hierro is a volcanic island, the smallest of all of the Canary Islands with 276 km2, and a natural paradise rich in biodiversity.
Related post: Wind energy, hydrogen and water, synergies for a sustainable development (in Spanish).