Clean energy: From theory to practice 

© Chris Giannakopoulos / WWF Greece

A fully reliant on clean energy Greek island would have sounded almost fictional a few years ago. Yet it is about to become a reality on Tilos island. Tilos will set a new energy paradigm for islands, with the EU-funded program TILOS, which aims at covering at the maximum possible level the energy demand of the island, through an innovative hybrid energy production and storage system, exclusively powered by renewable energy sources.

In early June 2017 the first installation of a medium – scale solar park and a wind turbine was completed, while on January 2018 the battery storage system that supports the needs in electricity during cloudy weather or weak – wind situations, was also installed.

Installation of RES in Tilos

Until now, Tilos is powered by the oil station of Kos island, facing regular and long term power blackouts, despite the Network Operator’s persistent efforts. With the implementation of the TILOS program, the island will be the first non-interconnected autonomous “green” energy island in the Mediterranean. Its innovation goes beyond European borders, since this is the first time a smart, island micro-grid system, based on   renewable energy and batteries, will be constructed.

Hybrid solutions like TILOS could become an exemplary case study for other islands that are not connected to the main gird, providing a viable phase-out alternative from polluting and expensive oil that burdens Greek citizens with more than 700 million euros per year. 

In June 2017 TILOS, won two awards for its innovative concept at the prestigious EU Sustainable Energy Week. TILOS project competed in both “Energy Islands” and “Citizens Awards” categories. The first award was granted by an expert committee and the second was a result of an open, public vote among 12 European projects. The public’s participation was unprecedented and TILOS project earned half of the total votes. The awards were granted by the EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete.

TILOS program is funded by Horizon 2020, the biggest EU financial and innovation program, gaining during the evaluation phase the biggest score among 80 competing projects. The program has 13 partners from 7 European countries, led by the research team of Soft Energy Applications & Environmental Protection Laboratory (Piraeus University of Applied Sciences - PUAS), together with the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator (HEDNO), WWF Greece and Eunice, a pioneer in renewable energy projects in Greece.

WWF Greece is responsible for creating the necessary conditions for the public acceptance of the project. As part of this, WWF holds regular training courses on the innovative aspects of the project, promotes the active involvement of local people and is responsible for organizing public consultation sessions. These elements should be a core ingredient of every renewable energy program. WWF Greece is also responsible for promoting the project to a wider audience as well as the island visitors.

Read more about TILOS on the website: https://tiloshorizon.eu

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