Mapping of local needs and conditions

The energy systems of islands (either geographical or virtual) are typically sensitive to externalities; however, innovative technologies and the exploitation of renewable energy (RE) sources result in opportunities (e.g. self-sufficiency) and challenges (e.g. grid instability). In such a framework, an isolated energy system's clean transition entails a complex process that requires significant technical experience and knowledge. An essential step in this process involves exploring the island conditions to identify and analyze potential challenges, risks, opportunities, and synergies with involved actors (Hasapis et al., 2017; Rakpho & Yamaka, 2021) , bearing in mind that each island has a unique context that requires an adapted approach.

In particular, the identification procedure encloses a list of actions involving the preliminary analysis of local energy needs, the identification of the current state of local conditions and the estimation of RES potential, and the assessment of the expected impacts on society, economy and energy at the local level. Such a process will allow the determination of the interrelationships between different sectors and actors, the mapping of the sources and uses of energy in the local economy and the setting of priorities accordingly.

Robinson’s Web Evidence Base is taken into account this holistic approach since the infant stage of a RES project development, starting with the energy demand and supply forecasting. Available tools can facilitate an accurate modelling and forecasting of the energy demand and supply such as the Bayesian Vector Autoregressive model – BVAR model5, while accessible databases can provide reliable data for accurate local energy needs estimations such as Eurostat, EurObserv’ER, EU Inspire Geoportal, European Forum for Geography and Statistics, European Energy Efficiency Platform (E3P), and other.