Rocky Mountain Institute
[Microgrid Knowledge] Relying solely on oil for electricity generation has left island and remote communities exposed to several risks and drawbacks. Oil-based electricity generation is often more expensive and subject to price volatility, which can result in the use of risky fuel-hedging strategies that can lock in prices for years to come. Importing oil puts these communities at risk of supply interruption, reducing energy security. Furthermore, small-scale electricity systems that aren’t connected to a larger electricity grid tend to be more expensive and difficult to maintain.
These risks and drawbacks—paired with continuing cost reductions in solar, wind, and energy storage technologies—suggest that an alternative to the fully oil-based electricity systems of the past is now available to islands and remote communities across the globe: affordable renewable energy.
Leading islands and remote communities, from the deserts of Australia to the isles of the UnitedKingdom, have already transitioned from 100 percent oil-based electricity systems to ones with significant renewable penetration. These communities are enjoying the many benefits that come with the transition: operational cost savings, reliable and stable power, long-term energy price stability, and reduced dependence on oil.
RMI’s new casebook, Renewable Microgrids: Profiles From Islands and Remote Communities Across the Globe, profiles 10 islands and remote communities actively embracing this transition in order to provide examples for other communities looking to make the switch away from oil to efficiency and renewables…