WIT Press

How Small Island Governments Are Responding To The Development Of Energy Technologies


Free (open access)





Page Range

25 - 36




414 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


M. J. de Vial & E. P. Monkhouse


With the backdrop of global concern about dwindling stocks of fossil fuels and climate change, small islands have additional pressures and challenges to adopt new energy technologies, particularly renewable energy. As is well documented, islands are characterised by: insularity, a limited range of resources, small markets, specialisation of economies, diseconomies of scale, fragility of eco-systems and skill and labour constraints. These characteristics create an over-reliance on imported fossil fuels, loss of economies of scale, and higher distribution costs. The motivation, therefore, to research, invest in and adopt alternative technologies is arguably heightened in island economies. The benefits observed from examples of energy self-sufficient islands e.g. Samsø (Denmark), are driving greater investment by other islands and agencies into alternative solutions. The Pacific Islands in particular as a region is embracing alternative energy and has since 2007, been receiving funding from the World Bank for a ten year programme. Many small islands are well placed to trial such projects where funding is available, with: ready access to certain alternative energy sources e.g. tidal, wave, geothermal and solar energy; adaptable communities; and the ability to implement new technology and encourage rapid dissemination throughout the population. Additional benefits include encouraging on-island production of biofuels and supply of additional revenue to the economy. Island Analysis will present a comparative study of energy policies and management in global island economies, drawing out the critical success factors and pointing to examples of leading edge practice. Keywords: renewable energy, islands, strategic policies, economies, future, analysis.


renewable energy, islands, strategic policies, economies, future, analysis