In the development of the energy islands, it is a particular challenge to design and build the electrical infrastructure so it can function with the varying power production from the renewable energy sources.
We already have many of the technologies today, but they are designed for our ‘old’ energy system. It’s important that we adjust and align the existing technologies in new ways.
The same goes for the control mechanisms that will ensure the important balance between the production and consumption of power, which has also been developed for our ‘old’ power plant-based energy system. It’s crucial that we recognize that we still lack the knowledge to manage an energy system based solely on renewable energy.
In other words, we can’t just take existing technologies and components off the shelves and implement them in their current state. And we can’t lean on existing knowledge or proven methods to make the new system work.
It’s crucial that we invest in research and development so we can develop the technology and knowledge that give us optimal solutions. If we’re fast and smart, we can even export these solutions to the outside world.
The decisions made in these years, when we are still designing both the islands and the electrical infrastructure, will have consequences for many decades to come, and they will help determine whether our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will also benefit from the islands.
Right now, it’s about getting off to a smart start. Otherwise, we end up with museum islands instead of energy islands.