Faroese Energy On the Sustainability Track for 100 % renewal energy sources in 2030

Did you know that the Faroe Islands is one of the world’s leading nations in producing sustainable electricity with over 50% of the nation’s electricity already deriving from renewable energy sources?(source: https://www.faroeislands.fo/economy-business/energy/)

As an isolated island society, the option of buying electricity from neighbouring countries does not exist. The obligation to supply power as well as run the power supply system results in a 24-hour obligation. The main energy supplier of the Faroe Islands is SEV – and it is SEV’s responsibility to have enough capacity to keep the system running at full blast, to fix technical problems and problems with production units, which for whatever reason break down.

SEV has officially announced that the goal is to have 100% green energy production by 2030. Compare this with the target for renewable energy in the EU! It is 20 % by 2020 and 32 % by 2030. (source: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/cache/infographs/energy/bloc-4c.html)

As a community of 18 islands, main natural supplies for green energy projects are just abundant everywhere in the Faroe Islands strong winds blow most of the time (and create horizontally falling rains at times)– so wind parks are an obvious choice. The ocean offers ideal conditions for innovative tidal energy and other technologies. Hydropower was one of the first sources of energy to be explored in the Faroe Islands already many years ago and now even a Field Solar PV plant has been inaugurated and included in the mix of sources.

Available energy however is not easily translated into a stable and reliable supply of power, as storage of energy is a challenge: for example the windiest time is the nights, but highest demand for power is in the daytime so it is one of the main tasks of SEV a privately run energy provider to ensure this stability in the supplies. That means – among other reasons – to ensure the industrial use of energy like in fish farms is granted. The Faroe Islands live of fishery and the smolt tanks for young salmon cannot tolerate power– cuts in pumping oxygen into the tanks, as the baby fish will die. And huge investments are at risk.

In order to avoid the risk of power cuts, SEV had tested and installed a so-called smart-grid solution, the Power Hub back-up system. It would lead too far to go into details here, but if you are interested in learning more about Power Hub and how many black-outs it has in fact prevented, please check the following information by SEV: http://www.sev.fo/Default.aspx?ID=126

According to this information, the Faroe Islands were the first country in the world that has tested this new IT system for electricity grids, which DongEnergy has developed with grants from the EU. (please note that DONGEnergy has been name-changed into Orsted in 2017 and is a Danish energy company, more under https://orsted.de/)

Here are a few examples for new initiatives to reach the 100by2030 target.

1) The new Tidal energy project of SEV and Minesto, a Swedish company

Minesto is a provider of “deep green energy” using tidal power in the sea, translated by sub-sea kites into current energy. https://minesto.com/

The project site in the Faroe Islands is Vestmannasund in between two of the main islands Streymoy and Vágar. The collaboration agreement with SEV entails two installations of Minesto’s DG100 model (kites), and is the first phase of a long-term ambition to add further tidal energy capacity by Minesto’s Deep Green technology to the Faroe Island’s energy mix.

source and copyright: SEV energy, Faroe Islands(from SEV website, 22.08.2019, http://www.sev.fo/Default.aspx?ID=193&Action=1&NewsId=3075&PID=392)

2) First field solar PV plant in the Faroes inaugurated on the island of Suðuroy

The first field solar PV plant in the Faroe Islands has been inaugurated in 2019. It is located on an abandoned football field in the village of Sumba, the southern most village on the southern most island of the Faroe Islands, Suðuroy. The 250 kWp plant, which is expected to generate approximately 160 MWh per year, is a test site, albeit not a big one.

It may nevertheless prove to be an important step in the efforts in introducing new renewable energy sources into the Faroese energy mix. The plant will produce energy when wind and rain is at the lowest, namely in the summer months.

(from SEV website, December 2019, http://www.sev.fo/Default.aspx?ID=193&Action=1&NewsId=3101&PID=392)


More about the knowledge clusters on the LinkedIn company profile of Visit Faroe Islands Meetings and on www.tmf-dialogue.net