Technologies Overview

ROBINSON incorporates more low-carbon or renewable energy sources. In the notion of industrial symbiosis, for example, biomass and/or waste feedstock will be utilised. Industrial symbiosis is defined as a concept that allows entities and companies which have traditionally been separated to cooperate among themselves in the sharing of resources, contributing to the increase of sustainability with environmental, economic, and social benefits, and should thus result in a more circular economy. In ROBINSON, distinct (unused) waste streams are identified on geographical islands and will be used as feedstock in various waste-to-energy facilities.

ROBINSON proposes many methods to meet environmental and economic goals, which will be discussed more in this chapter. The case studies' future energy systems will incorporate renewable energy sources, namely wind and PV power, as well as sustainably produced heat sources such as biomass and (renewable) hydrogen. Furthermore, the newly proposed EMS attempts always to balance energy supply and demand while taking into account the restrictions of all system components. The ROBINSON EMS will guarantee the effective and intelligent integration of all distributed energy resources (DER), energy surpluses, and storage capabilities available on the island, while taking demand-side response, power balancing, weather forecasting, and market-related prices into account. Such an integrated system would offer a dependable, cost-effective, and resilient energy supply, so contributing to the decarbonization of European islands by phasing out fossil fuels and lowering CO2 emissions. The software's usability and adaptability will permit replication to additional energy islands with comparable conditions, which will be assisted by the active participation of local communities and other stakeholders. The EMS will be developed with the local communities for the local communities to bring relevant business opportunities while ensuring that the island's fragile environment is preserved.

It is worth noting that ROBINSON will be applied to an industrialized region of one of the three chosen islands, allowing for installing an industrial microgrid in conjunction with industrial symbiosis. As a result, the notion is also relevant to distributed (multi-)energy systems. Furthermore, Eigerøy and the Western Isles now have an energy grid link to the mainland, but Crete does not. The ROBINSON idea is to create an intelligent, resilient, and adaptable energy system (Figure 1) that integrates technology from several energy vectors (electricity, heat, and gas) and is underpinned by cutting-edge digital technologies like blockchain. It will combine the island's existing energy sources with advanced and tailored technologies such as an innovative wind turbine, anaerobic digestion (AD), gas turbine-based Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units, a gasifier, and an electrolyzer, with the goal of ensuring a reliable and well-balanced coverage of RES generation and demand for electricity, process steam, and heating. Hydrogen will be produced by the electrolyzer for energy storage, which is necessary to compensate for the energy variations caused by renewable sources. To meet energy security limitations and reduce costs, the EMS will regulate the electrolyzer based on energy excess or energy storage needs, as well as the hydrogen storage level. If the stored hydrogen level has to be raised, the EMS will activate the electrolyzer. For the opposite case the device will be switched off.

Figure 1 The integrated ROBINSON system on demo island

Figure 1. The integrated ROBINSON system on demo island