Explore the idea of dedicated “energy islands” and find out if they could be one of the best steps we’ve seen towards a greener planet…

Hello everyone!

Last week we talked about one of the “megaprojects” that the New Scientist has listed that may help the planet considerably – a solar panel station in space! This week we are moving away from the Star Wars concept. Instead, I want to talk about another of their “megaprojects” – building a set of energy islands.

What Are Energy Islands?

Energy islands are artificially built islands that would support vast wind farms. And we already love wind farms! The idea has come from Denmark, to build ‘Vindø’, an energy island, in the North Sea. To reach the target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions, it is estimated we need more than the current offshore wind farms in Europe.

There is the potential for energy islands to solve the two main problems of wind power. One problem is that power generation can be intermittent, the other is that power requires cables. Energy islands would make managing supply and demand easier, meaning less need for cables. The energy islands would be hubs in a ‘continental super grid’.

As with most things, it is expensive. So, David Flood at Starkraft (Europe’s largest generator of green energy), says the idea is to build a select few islands that have many connections to different nations.

The Journey To Net Zero

Already this sounds pretty cool! But there is another advantage of energy islands. A second use of energy islands is to produce clean fuel – ie fuel with lower amounts of carbon emissions. For example, this would be used by air travel and steel and cement production. The fuel can be shipped or piped back to land.

Supporting wind farms and producing cleaner fuel are both actions to help the planet become greener. If the first island, Vindø, is successful there will be more built and of course that will mean more support for wind farms and production of green fuel. And that will mean being closer to the net zero greenhouse gas emissions target!

Creating Your Own “Energy Island” At Home

Of course, this is a huge project, hence the name “megaprojects”, so as individuals we cannot be directly involved. But, if we want to be involved in helping to make our planet greener, as I encourage everyone to, we can!

A perfect example, as we are moving into spring with some more sun in England, is to use solar panels. Obviously, they have benefits for the environment and help to manage the creation and consumption of energy, but they also get you outside. This, I think, is very important. Being outside in nature definitely helps me appreciate the planet we have and how important it is to help it.

I hope everyone had a lovely week, and I will see you next week for another Amy’s Hot Topic.


#undertwok #2kWh


New Scientist – Five climate megaprojects that might just save the world – Jon Cartwright, Alison George, Joshua Howgego, Stuart Clark, Nicola Jones – 13th March 2024.

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