Decarbonising energy systems of geographical Islands

Energy prices on geographical island are typically 100% to 400% higher than on the mainland; therefore the large-scale deployment of local renewable energy sources brings economic benefits and, at the same time, contributes to decarbonise the energy system of the island, reduce greenhouse gases emissions and improve, or at least not deteriorate, air quality.


The proposed solutions will contribute to at least 4 of the following objectives:

  • Achieve high levels of local renewable energy sources penetration;
  • Achieve highly integrated and digitalised smart grids based on high flexibility services from distributed generation, demand response and storage of electricity, heat, water, etc.;
  • Develop synergies between the different energy networks (electricity, heating, cooling, water, transport, etc.);
  • Achieve a very significant reduction of the use of hydrocarbon based energies (ideally achieve carbon neutral primary energy for all non-transport uses). Modelling, forecasting of demand (e.g. for touristic/non-touristic seasons) and supply (e.g. based on weather, wind, sun, etc.);
  • Innovative approaches to energy storage, electricity storage in particular relying on batteries (including avoidance or delay of costly grid upgrades of existing grids).

Projects should also deliver:

  • Effective business models for sustainable solutions;
  • Practical recommendations arising from project experience on:
  • regulatory, legal aspects and data security/protection;
  • gender and socio-economics (Social Sciences and Humanities);
  • storage solutions (from short to seasonal);
  • big data, data management and digitalisation;
  • Contributions to environmental sustainability, in particular in view of the specificities of islands ecosystems.

The TRL will range typically between 5 and 8 (see part G of the General Annexes). Proposers will indicate the estimates levels of TRL at the beginning and at the end of the project.

Proposals should include a task on the analysis of obstacles to innovation under the current context and foresee the coordination on policy relevant issues (e.g. regulatory framework, business models, data management, consumer engagement) with similar EU-funded projects through the BRIDGE initiative[1]. An indicative budget share of at least 2% is recommended for the research work associated with these issues and an additional 2% for the coordination effort are recommended.

If relevant, synergies should be established with ongoing and planned work on islands in the 'Clean Energy for EU islands' initiative[2].

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 7 to 10 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact

The projects are expected to contribute to

  • developing RES-based systems (including heating and cooling and storage) that are cheaper than diesel generation;
  • reduce significantly fossil fuel consumption;
  • large-scale replication on the same island and on other islands with similar problems;
  • enhance autonomy for islands that are grid connected with the mainland (existing diesel generators shall be used primarily as security back-up in the long term).

Proposals are invited to identify and substantiate to which of the above impacts they contribute and include ad-hoc indicators to measure the progress against specific objectives of their choice that could be used to assess the progress during the project life. Proposals are also invited to identify if they impact on future investment perspectives (see also topic LC-SC3-ES-8-2019).

Delegation Exception Footnote

It is expected that this topic will continue in 2020.

Cross-cutting Priorities

Clean Energy
Socio-economic science and humanities



Date de candidature
Sciences sociales : Sciences environnementales, Identités, genre et sexualités, Science politique, Sociologie