The Faroe Islands are an archipelago composed of 18 islands and located between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. The population is equal to 48,700 inhabitants spread in an area of 1,399 km2. The economy is mostly based on the fishing industry and tourism, followed by the wool industry and other manufacturing processes (CIA, 2016).
In the energy sector, the production of electricity and heat both rely on renewable and fossil sources. The share of renewables in the electricity sector is equal to 60 percent, in particular, 42.3% from hydro and 17.7% from wind, while the remaining part is produced from oil with an overall decline of 16% for the second year in a row.
The main goal of the Faroe Islands government is to reach a total energy production based exclusively on renewables by 2030. To achieve this objective, electrification is required since the current energy production and the transport system are both fossil fuels based.
To face the intermittence of an increased share of renewable sources, a group of 10 InnoEnergy students from the Master’s in Environomical Pathways for Sustainable Energy Systems (SELECT) and 7 different nationalities, developed a project for one year in collaboration with Sweco, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH – Stockholm), and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC – Barcelona) aiming at the electrification of the whole energy sector of the Faroe Islands and allowing for the integration of a large share of renewable energy technologies in order to decrease the oil dependency of the country.
The technical perspective of the proposed solution was of superordinate importance for the first phase of the project, whereas the economic feasibility of the energy transition represents the main focus during the second project phase.