Benefits and Expected Results

Benefits and expected results by the specific project implementation include the following:

  • Minimization / elimination of fuel imports and attached macro-economic costs for the electrification and other energy needs of small and medium island regions of the Aegean Sea.
  • Termination of the operation of old-technology power stations, determined by extremely high electricity production costs and local pollution phenomena, avoiding at the same time heavy penalties associated with climate change impacts (e.g. taxation of CO2 emissions of the electricity generation sector).
  • Termination of the operation of cost-ineffective and energy intensive (owed to shipping requirements) water transport supply networks for the satisfaction of water deficits in island regions.
  • Performance assessment of RES-based water desalination schemes that may also provide a first evaluation concerning application prospects of water desalination projects at the national level.
  • Investigation of innovative elements including introduction of electric and/or hydrogen-based vehicles as well as demand side management and energy saving initiatives creates new research and local market opportunities, considering also the potential for adoption at the greater extent. Promotion of green development activities and opening of new markets (e.g. RES-based hybrid systems, energy storage and desalination markets) that can contribute to the mitigation of the economic crisis impacts at the national level, after also boosting the local economies of islands.
  • Development of RES-based island paradigms is expected to encourage adoption of similar patterns and practices in the Greek mainland and coastal areas as well (e.g. application of distributed generation systems, smart grids, energy storage investments, desalination projects in coastal areas, etc.), while may also allow application of the developed planning methodology to other island systems.
  • Achieving large-scale RES contribution in island areas also supports satisfaction of national targets concerning overall RES penetration, i.e. 20% of the national gross energy consumption and 40% of the national gross electricity consumption covered by RES by the year 2020 (National Law 3851/2010 in accordance with the dictates of the 2009/28/EC Directive).
  • Development of integrated databanks, computational simulation and GIS models and other decision support tools produced by the results of the project will enhance the work of engineers in the field.
  • Upgrade of the small scale hybrid RES unit of the Soft Energy Applications and Environmental Protection Lab (Mechanical Engineering Department) with the addition of a reverse osmosis desalination unit sets the basis not only for new research efforts but also for the on-site education of local students.
  • Disengagement from unsustainable patterns of energy and water supply, achieved by the project implementation, ensures improvement of the local habitants’ living standards, offering at the same time the opportunity for RES-based development activities (e.g. scientific or innovative technology tourism taking advantage of the “local research laboratories”).