The Canary Islands have the potential to become carbon neutral by 2050.
That’s according to a new study published by the EU, which suggests this could be achieved by shifting to a 100% renewable energy supply, improving energy efficiency and building new grid connections between islands.
Currently, the islands import 99% of their energy needs in the form of oil and diesel, which are used to generate power, produce heat and fuel vehicles.
The report suggests electrical transport could be quickly and feasibly introduced to the region, as car journeys are typically limited to short distances and so are suitable for limited battery ranges.
The study suggests the total final energy demand of the Canaries could drop to 16 billion KwH per year if energy efficiency measures are successfully applied – for comparison, the UK’s annual energy usage stood at around around 2,249 billion KwH in 2014.
This is compared to 25.5 billion KwH in 2012 and a predicted 36 billion KwH in 2050 if no measures are implemented.
It predicts energy demand would be met by solar (37%), followed by wind (31%), geothermal (29%) and biomass (3%).
This shift to renewables, supported by a mix of hydrogen storage, hydroelectric storage and battery storage, could potentially lead to emission reductions of 48% by 2030 and nearly 100% by 2050.
The green energy mix detailed above is forecast to cost up to €0.13 (£0.11) per kWh, with costs for storage, grid and demand flexibility amounting to an additional €0.07 (£0.06) per kWh.
This is cheaper than predictions for a fossil fuel based power system, which would be expected to cost around €0.23 (£0.20) per kWh by 2050.
A project to help Mediterranean islands transition to green energy has been launched by the EU.