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Microgeneration in Island Communities: Wind Turbines as a Sustainable Power Source


Welcome to our blog post on microgeneration in island communities! In this article, we will explore the use of wind turbines as a sustainable power source for these unique communities. Microgeneration refers to the production of electricity on a small scale, typically for local consumption. Island communities often face challenges in terms of energy supply due to their remote locations and limited access to traditional power grids. Wind turbines have emerged as a viable solution, harnessing the power of wind to generate clean and renewable energy. So, let’s dive in and discover the benefits and considerations of wind turbines in island communities.

The Benefits of Wind Turbines

Wind turbines offer several advantages for island communities:

  • Renewable and Clean Energy: Wind is a renewable resource, and using wind turbines for power generation reduces reliance on fossil fuels, leading to a cleaner environment and lower carbon emissions.
  • Cost Savings: Once installed, wind turbines can provide a consistent source of electricity at no fuel cost, reducing the dependence on expensive diesel generators or importing energy from the mainland.
  • Job Creation and Economic Boost: The installation, maintenance, and operation of wind turbines create local employment opportunities, contributing to the economic growth of the island community.
  • Energy Independence: Wind turbines enable island communities to be self-reliant when it comes to electricity supply, enhancing their resilience and reducing vulnerability to power outages or price fluctuations.

Factors to Consider

While wind turbines offer numerous benefits, it is essential to consider various factors before implementing them in island communities:

Wind Resource

Assessing the wind resource is crucial to determine the feasibility of wind turbines. Factors to consider include:

  • Wind Speed: A minimum average wind speed of 5-6 meters per second is generally required for efficient power generation. An anemometer should be installed to monitor wind speed over a specific period.
  • Wind Direction: The prevailing wind direction should align with the turbine’s orientation for optimum performance.
  • Turbulence: Wind turbines should be located where turbulence is minimal, typically away from obstructions like buildings or tall trees.

Siting and Permits

Choosing the right location for wind turbines is crucial. Consider the following:

  • Land Ownership: Ensure that the land where the wind turbines will be installed is owned by the island community or leased from the respective authorities.
  • Environmental Impact: Assess potential impacts on wildlife, bird migration patterns, or sensitive habitats. Consult with environmental agencies if necessary.
  • Permits and Regulations: Understand local regulations and obtain the necessary permits before installing wind turbines. This may include planning permission and grid connection agreements.

Maintenance and Durability

Regular maintenance is essential for optimal performance and longevity of wind turbines:

  • Access: Consider the accessibility of the turbine for routine checks and maintenance. Remote islands may require additional logistical planning.
  • Spare Parts and Repairs: Ensure the availability of spare parts and local technicians who can promptly address any issues that arise.
  • Warranty and Service Agreements: Engage with reputable turbine manufacturers who offer comprehensive warranty and service agreements.

Success Stories

Several island communities have successfully implemented wind turbines as part of their microgeneration strategies:

Samso, Denmark

The Danish island of Samso is a renowned example of community-driven renewable energy. It has 21 onshore wind turbines and ten offshore turbines, generating more energy than the island consumes.

El Hierro, Spain

El Hierro, one of the Canary Islands, is entirely powered by a combination of wind and hydro energy. With five wind turbines and a pumped hydro storage plant, the island can meet its electricity demand and reduce CO2 emissions.


Wind turbines have the potential to revolutionize the energy landscape in island communities by providing clean, reliable, and sustainable power. However, it is essential to consider the local wind resource, site selection, and maintenance requirements when implementing wind turbines. Learning from successful examples such as Samso and El Hierro can inspire other island communities to embark on their own renewable energy journeys. By harnessing the power of wind, these communities can achieve energy independence, economic growth, and contribute to a greener future.