The project "Isla Renovable" aims to spread awareness of the importance of renewable energy in island territories.
With the project “Isla Renovable”, co-financed by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology - FECYT (Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness), ITER and AIET intend to spread the importance of renewable energy in island territories, due to the singularities associated with their isolated electrical systems. This objective is to be achieved through the development of a multi-platform interactive game and complementary didactic materials that can be used by teachers to show how an isolated electrical system works and the importance of its management.
The main objectives of the project are:
- To disseminate the importance that renewable energies have in island territories.
- To inform about the environmental and economic benefits of renewable energies.
- To make the electricity generating technologies based on renewable energies more comprehensible and to awaken young people's scientific vocation.
- To use innovative communication channels to disseminate scientific and technological contents to a non-specialised public.
- To make teaching tools available for educators, in order to facilitate their teaching work in renewable energy matters.
Coordinator: Insituto Tecnológico y de Energías Renovables (Institute of Technology and Renewable Energy), http://www.iter.es/
Target groups: general public, secondary school students, teachers, vocational school students
Topic: Earth science, Ecology, Energy, Environmental sciences, Information technology, Technology, Education
Start year: 2013
End year: 2014
Contact person: Mónica Alonso, islarenovable (at) iter.es
First the different types of islands are defined, representing the three existing levels of difficulty in the game. These levels are defined in terms of population and power consumption of each island, increasing the difficulty with these two variables. Initially, hourly load curves of annual electricity demand of each island were used, but this was simplified during the development of the application because the management of such data amounts for each of the islands was incompatible with the requirements of application programming.
Resource data of each of the renewable energies present in the game, as well as installation costs per MW and generated energy as a function of the resource for each technology, were collected for the model development. Three different regions of resource (wind and solar) were selected for the first level in the game, four regions for the second and five for the third level.
When the necessary data were defined, the prices of generated energy according to the technology were collected. In order to make a "generic" game reflecting the status of the island territories, it was necessary to analyse various systems of remuneration in different countries, mainly in Europe, where the availability of data is greater.
Four charging systems were selected: low, medium and high fixed price, and market price, in order to reflect the different energy polices and consequences that their application has both in terms of costs for the State and in the energy cost and time necessary to increase the penetration of renewable energies.
In order to increase the penetration of renewable energies, wind powered pumped hydro storage systems were analysed and introduced into the model. The model provides the player with the data of the energy lost (in cases where the generated energy is greater than that demanded) in order to guide the player in installing storage systems.
The Renewable Island Project intends to disseminate the importance that renewable energies have in island territories due to the singularities associated with isolated electrical systems. One of the main challenges was bringing the renewable electricity generating technologies closer to the non-specialised population, as well as the factors that affect their level of penetration in the electrical system and the environmental and economic benefits that their use has in island territories.
The main result of the project is the multi-platform simulation game “ISLA 100%”, which is available as a mobile application for both Android and iOS devices, as well as for its online game in Spanish and English (depending on the browser or device settings).
In the ISLAND 100% game, users start from a virtual island powered exclusively by conventional energy sources. From that starting point the objective will be to achieve the highest possible penetration of renewable energies in the electric system, at reasonable costs. Users should take into account different factors, such as the renewable resource, the remaining budget or the different sale options for the generated energy. Doing so, users will observe that as the renewables percentage rises on an appropriate mix, the generation costs and the greenhouse-gas emissions gradually decrease.
The game has three sequential phases in terms of difficulty, which correspond to islands with different population, energy consumption, renewable resources, etc.
The application has been designed to maximise its subsequent educational use, as an attractive tool that teachers can use to show how an isolated electrical system works and how important its correct management is. For this reason, a Handbook for teachers and a series of supplementary tutorial videos that can be helpful for teachers have been developed. In the last phase of the project, a series of ISLAND 100% dissemination sessions were organised with Secondary Education groups and with teachers in order to explain how it works and to reinforce the technical contents on which the application is based.
All the educational resources are available fromin the project Web site, which also includes a wide range of educational resources related to this field.