Following concerns of the population regarding air quality due to a new coal fired power plant on the Dutch coast, Borkum started on a path towards renewable energy many years ago. Yet the challenges associated with the intermittent nature of power supplied by such renewable sources currently remain: Consumption peaks cannot be met by solar and wind energy and expensive grid electricity needs to be bought in. Vice versa, peak generation leads to energy exports at unfavourable conditions. A logical step to tackle this challenge is to investigate energy storage, which was indeed the research objective of the previous H2020 NETfficient project coordinated by partner AYESA.

The NETfficient project:

  • Begun in 2015 and finished by the end of 2018.
  • Validated several types of local storage technologies in combination with photovoltaic production in the electricity grid of Borkum, increasing their readiness levels through extensive prototype testing
  • Deployed distributed photovoltaic installations adding up to 279 kWp and a power-to-heat Aquarium installation

To a greater or lesser extent, geographical islands today are facing several challenges posed by the objective of achieving zero-emission energy systems. Within this framework, the overall goal of the ISLANDER project is to make substantial progress towards a fully decarbonised, smart geographical island which will pave the way to other European Follower islands towards a zero-emissions energy system.


ISLANDER will run for 5 years, ending in September 2025. The project is coordinated by Spanish partner AYESA and consists of a total of 11 organisations from 7 European countries. It has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 957669. The European Commission is co-funding the project with nearly € 7 million.