Tropical islands face the most severe effects of climate change and their current dependence on oil is not a sustainable situation. These regions, with its population centers near the coast, are now experiencing the greatest growing energy demands.
Due to their scale, most of these islands and communities for electricity production depend solely on import of Diesel or Heavy Fuel Oil, which are amongst the most expensive baseload generation methods, and after coal, produce the largest amount of emissions per kilowatt-hour. Being dependent on oil based products also subjects these markets to intense volatility in their cost of energy. Often, there is no way to link the islands to continental energy networks, making it difficult to guarantee the security of supply.
Furthermore, conventional renewable energy methods such as wind and solar energy can only cover a small fraction of the total electricity usage due to their intermittency, predictability and the connection to grids which they have are not designed to handle this type of fluctuating loads. It is widely accepted by the industry that the share of intermittent renewable sources can’t be more than 50% of installed capacity, which usually translates into a total electricity generation of less than 20% of the load.