Sustainable Energy for an Island

Categories: Energy Efficiency

1. INTRODUCTION: Isle of Man (IoM) Island

The Isle Of Man Island situated in the middle of north Irish Sea .Roughly its same distance from England, Northern Ireland and Scotland. According to world meter the population at IoM about 85,033 in the year 2020 which occupied 52km long, 22km widest with 572 square kilometres area (World meter, 2020). It is the famous tourist place. There are significant hills which is most attractive place of IoM. IoM has its own government which known as Tynwald it’s a oldest legislature in the world, it’s not a part of United Kingdom or EU.

It has a status of Crown Dependency and citizenship is British Citizenship. To support the chief minister statement in June 2019, Tynwald also plan to achieve net-zero carbon emission by 2050. In this report discussion about possible ways to use natural resources in sustainable manner to achieve low carbon footprint at an island, not only from energy sources but also in buildings ,transport and land usage at the island .

Address some barriers like technology ,environmental and discuss about employment due to renewable energy sources and how economy contribute to the island .


At present most of the energy supply from fossil fuels .They have been started to move towards renewable source but not much so far. There is 40MW capacity interconnector to the UK main grid. At the IoM majority of electricity load is domestic load and other business has non domestic load .Average 4000kwh per year is usage of home.

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CCGT (Combined Cycle Gas Turbine) has long life and it’s suited for island .Carbon intensity is lower than UK .
Electricity Reference Point:
Peak Electricity demand= 90MW (IOM,2016)
Annual Electricity Consumption=365.9 GWh (IOM,2016)
Household Electricity Price= 18.77p/kWh (IOM,2017)
Reference Cost of new CCGT(Combined Cycle Gas Turbine)=8.47p/kWh (IOM,2017)
Household Gas Price=8.55p/kWh (IOM,2017)
Biomass Price=7.54p/kWh (IOM,2017)
Carbon Emission=676,000 tonnes CO2 per year (IOM,2016)
Government plans to produce around 75% of electricity in IOM from Renewable Energy Sources by the year 2035. For that government investment about £ 25m to achieve the target (BBC News, 2020). Based on Date up to year 2015 provided by MEA, the Isle of Man generate approximately 3.2% from the renewable sources in which 2.6% energy from the waste plant and 0.6% from the hydro electric station .It is estimated that 1.8% of electricity generate from combined heat and power plants(CHP) (IOM,2013).


EU policy set the energy objective in IoM for future sustainability. This includes reduction in CO2 emission by 20% and improving energy efficiency by 20% in the year 2020. According 2015 year estimated emission in 1990 were 615,717 tonnes CO2, this approximately 9.55 tonnes per person .Tynwald target 80% reduction in emission on 1990 levels which is 1.91 tonnes per person by the year 2050 with estimated population 101,922 therefore the net emission target will 194,599 tonnes CO2 (IOM, June, 2016).\nFigure 1: Estimated and target emissions in IoM
Source: (IOM, June, 2016)

3.1 Principles of reducing emissions

By eliminating demand of energy itself reduction in emission .The energy consumed by sector is sustainably sourced .The hierarchy for emission reduction define below.
Costs are equally divided (IOM, June, 2016).
Energy consumption source is sustainable (IOM, June, 2016).\nFigure 2: Emission Reduction Hierarchy
Source: (IOM, June, 2016)

3.2 Renewable Energy Option:

Onshore Wind: Onshore wind should be one of the best options for the IoM to meet long term generation demand .Total eight potential zones have been identified for the onshore wind farms in the north and Central Island and generating capacity of each farm between 16.7 and 27.3GWh per year. The cost rate of onshore wind generation is 8p/kWh.(AEA ,2012)
Eight Potential Zones:

  1. Ballacooiley
  2. Beary Mountain
  3. Dalby Mountain
  4. Gordon
  5. Keppel Gate
  6. Snuff the Wind
  7. Jurby
  8. Cronk

Figure 3: Map for potential onshore wind
Source: (AEA, 2012)
Offshore Wind: Offshore turbine play vital role in marine environment. Offshore wind resources on the IoM is placed at different four large arrays in different locations north-east, east and south of the island .These large arrays export power to the UK .Between 100 and 200 turbines in the arrays generating 1,000GWh/y and 3,500GWh/y (AEA,2012).

With the review of each four zones ,accordingly environment and fishery constrains three of the four zones avoid sensitive species habitats rather only one zone Z3 is close to scallop dredging area and need to be assets carefully
The cost of offshore wind generation is around 18p/kWh.
It is a developing technology and useful for small scale generation (AEA,2012)\nFigure 4: Map for potential off-shore wind
Source: (AEA, 2012)
Biomass: Biomass is the most low risk energy option for the IoM in larger public and commercial buildings. The resources for the biomass based on indigenous which is 31.8k oven dry tonnes per year in which 25.3k using willow coppice and 6.5k government forestry estate .The cost of biomass heat for large scale application is 3.4p/kWh and for domestic purpose heat is 11.8p/kWh (AEA, 2012).\nFigure 5: Applications of Biomass
Source: (AEA, 2012)
Anaerobic Digestion (AD): It involves biodegradable organic waste into energy in the absence of oxygen. In this process biogas is produced which is mixture of methane and carbon dioxide and it is used for fuel source as a heating or electricity production ,Approximate quantity of waste from farm and creamery factory is about 19,100 tonnes/year which could generate yearly approximately 1.4GWh electricity and 1.2GWh heat. Sewage sludge is normally 2 to 4%dillute in solids and rather have safe and secure outlet. The cost of AD is about 6.4p/kWh for heat and 12.8p/kWh for electricity which is expensive than other renewable options (AEA, 2012).
Wave Energy: Wave energy is useful for generate electricity from extraction from the motion of water .The most appropriate location in IoM for generating electricity from wave is 4-16 km South of the calf of Man with the highest energy density .An array of 40 machines together could generate about 21GWh per year .Cost of this generation is high approximately 79p/kWh (AEA, 2012)

3.3 Small Scale Renewable sources:

Small Scale Wind: In this system the turbines are rated up to 50kW which sub categorised in micro wind turbine up to 1.5Kw and small wind turbine from 1.5-50kW. Wind speed of IoM is 5-10m/s .For small farms 5kW turbine is used and for commercial companies small turbine about 25kW is used. Total amount of energy generated 4,400MWh/y at 30 to 40p/kWh (AEA, 2012)
Solar Photovoltaic(PV): PV materials convert light energy into electrical energy ,It generally used for household application like roof top PV ,solar water heater etc .According to climate and Weather condition in IoM this system can produce electricity .estimate production per year is 10MWh with unit cost is in between 60 to 80p/kWh (AEA, 2012)
Micro Combined Heat and Power (CHP): Micro CHP technology used for converts chemical energy to electrical energy and recover the thermal heat from the same process. The amount of fuel used for this process is less compared to individual heat and power separately. It could be applicable for small sector and small commercial buildings .The cost of electricity is about 14p/kWh for electricity and 7p/kWh for heat (AEA, 2012)


For transition to low carbon energy or reduced emissions along with treasury to introduce the energy efficiency support for domestic properties like cavity and loft insulation, triple and double glazed window.
Appropriate changing the building control standard with department of infrastructure to get zero emission homes.
Introduce energy performance certificates (EPCs) which shown energy certificate of occupancy transfers either its rental or sale.
To encourage and aware the people for the installation of smart electricity and upgraded heating control in new installation and existing ones when do retrofitting.
To introduce a policy scheme to encourage heating system.
By 2025 ban all fossil fuel boilers in newly build houses and introduce tree plantation under agriculture support scheme (IOM, June, 2016).


After 2013 it’s measured that more than 17% of CO2 emissions of the island due to surface transport.
IOM has good telecommunications facility which can enable to do work and shop from home, which avoid to travel the people outside.
To reduce emission from surface transports which helpful for health and economic benefits.
Change the mode of journey, either by walking or by cycle or by public transport .As example people who travel by private car they can use public transport or cycle.
Schools, Colleges have to promote fitness initiative by walking and cycling to school with proficiency programme.
Introduce the range of Hybrid and electric vehicles with attractive tariff structure and advertisement of car sharing in eco-friendly way.
Provision of installation of charging station in domestic properties.
Provision of hydrogen power public transport which drive zero emissions (IOM, June, 2016).


In May 2015, Tynwald agreed that to deliver zero emission it will necessary to ensure the land practice will follow the principle of sustainable development by 2050 to minimise carbon emissions.
After 2013 around 11% of CO2 emissions is done due to the land usage.
Increased the efficiency with the use of energy efficient equipment at farming.
Use of nutrients.
Reducing the level of meat consumption can also reduce carbon emissions.
Nitrogen oxide fertilizer is 300 times more global warming potential than CO2, so reduced the consumption of fertilizer by plants lowers the emissions in environment.
Increased Economic Breeding Index (EBI).
Managed Farm waste by injection to soil rather than spreading (IOM, June, 2016).


The existing IOM-UK interconnector is 40MW capacity with 90k Volt AC line with length of 102km, which is longest sub-sea AC connector in the world. An alternative of this would be High voltage DC transmission when power converted from AC TO DC first before transmission and then again converted into AC. Benefits of these system are :
Reduced material cost as HVDC required only two conductors.
For a given cable size HVDC lines reduced line half line losses compared to AC transmission.
HVDC does not require any network of another end for synchronised because it has same system frequency. (AEA, 2012).


For low carbon technology consider renewable energy options numbers of barriers reviewed and scored during a workshop with the government of IOM and other industry stakeholders are as follows:
Minor barrier which consider small design measures, community engagement, project cost and time scale.
Modest barrier which consider supporting infrastructure, skill base industrial capability, small increase in time span of project.
Moderate barrier which consider significant risk to location, it could be project can redesign by location. Time span could be in-between 6 month to 1 year.
Very significant barrier which consider acceptance of project could not archived up to mark or project could not began and delay for many years.
This all barriers could happen due to following Constrains:

  1. Environmental
  2. Economic
  3. Physical
  4. Technically available resources
  5. Deployment
  6. Legislative



Energy efficiency scheme would be consider for resident with their fuel bills and reduced the use of fossil fuel announced by the government of Tynwald in December 2017 .This scheme is applicable to home owners and private renters’ .The aim of this scheme is to encourage the people to make their home more efficient in energy .Grant would cover the energy efficiency survey, cavity and loft insulation, thermostatic radiator, draught proofing for doors and windows (IOM, 2018). 
To minimize environmental pollution in the air ,water and land use of renewable energy resources
With the design of new project consider the community safety first.
Installation or decommissioning of cables may lead to loss of habitat and species
The sub-sea cables damage also affects the habitats and species (ISLES, 2015).


Towards the renewable energy source creates the direct and indirect jobs for the people of IOM, Which indirectly increase the GDP. With the new project the job including environmental monitoring, manufacturing, project management, transport, operation and maintenance etc (AEA, 2012).
From the renewable energy sources employment opportunity is a motivation for local government and economic development agencies to understand this opportunity many studies carried out like:

  • Local renewable energy market opportunities
  • Supply chain capabilities
  • The market gaps and opportunities

At every installation for renewable energy sources jobs are created as mentioned in the pyramid below (AEA, 2012)
Tier 0-Project Developer, Contractor and Engineering, Procurement and Construction Contractor.
Tier 1-Suppliers of Main components of technology Ex: For wind power generation suppliers of wind turbine.
Tier 2- Sub components of components supplied by Tier 2 Ex: for the wind turbine supply of rotors, towers etc.
Tier 3-Further division of component of tier 2.Ex: for the rotor turbine blades, bearings etc.\nFigure 6: Employment Pyramid
Source :( AEA, 2012)
Tier 4- Subcomponents of tier 3.Ex: for turbine blades bolts and blades require.
Tier 5-Raw material of component. Ex: blades material, modules etc (AEA, 2012)


To fund the renewable energy project requires:

  • Stable and which contain low carbon energy input
  • Affordable and appropriate source for funding
  • Stable and continuous available for the energy output (AEA, 2012)

Different form and in different manner community involvement are as follows (AEA, 2012):

  • Energy Input: Renting land to wind developer, Renting space to PV developer
  • Renewable Energy Asset: Assets in Community ownership, develop grants or funds
  • Energy Output: Sales of electricity to third party or heat for income, recycling income to the community.


The whole report focused on the low carbon energy, renewable energy generation with changing energy infrastructure and energy efficiency on the Isle of Man. The number of renewable energy sources mentioned for the low carbon energy but one of the most priority option onshore winds for domestic renewable energy target .it’s the cheapest renewable energy source. It can deliver large amount of energy and reduced lots amount of emission of CO2. Offshore wind also significant option because on IOM four zone identified for large wind farm. All other energy options are the development stages but in long term it will beneficiary to production of energy at island .Small scale wind and solar PV technology for island is expensive but it will reduce carbon emission which is in sustainable manner in sunny and windy weather condition.
All the energy options are assessed from their costs, reduction of carbon footprint, contribution to improved efficiency and also explain the technology and environmental barrier to assets them. Due to use of renewable energy sources lots of employment will increase at the island also have some community is involve in these project.



  • AEA (2012): Renewable Energy Sustainable Study –impacts and opportunities for the Isle of Man .Available at: (Accessed at: 11th May 2020)
  • BBC NEWS (January, 2020) –Isle of man commits 75% renewable electricity by 2035, viewed 11th May, 2020, <>
  • ISLE OF MAN (IOM) GOVERNMENT (2013)-GD No: 022/13- A report by council of Minister on the renewable energy target .Available at: (Accessed at: 11th May 2020)
  • ISLES (2015): Strategic Environmental Assessment Environmental Report .Available at: (Accessed at: 11th May 2020)
  • ISLE OF MAN (IOM) GOVERNMENT (2016) The Isle of Man in numbers 2016 .Available at: (Accessed at: 11th May 2020)
  • ISLE OF MAN GOVERNMENT (IOM) (June-2016): A climate change Mitigation Strategy for the Isle of Man 2016-2020. Available at: (Accessed at: 11th May 2020)
  • Isle of Man Government ( (2017): Energy Projects, viewed 11th May, 2020, <>
  • ISLE OF MAN (IOM) GOVERNMENT (2018): Energy Efficiency Scheme –Guidance Document. Available at: (Accessed at: 11th May 2020)
  • World o meter (2020) –Isle of man population, viewed 11th May, 2020,<>

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Sustainable Energy for an Island. (2021, Oct 31). Retrieved from

Sustainable Energy for an Island
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