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Successful energy transition in islands: what is the good balance between local regulation, technology and public engagement? Focus on Ushant (France), Sark and Scilly (UK)

Session Replay



The ICE project tackles the key challenge faced by the Channel area in reducing the energy vulnerability of the region. Isolated territories such as islands and peripheral communities of the Channel area are either located at the end of energy distribution networks or depend mainly on fossil fuel generation which can be expensive and vulnerable to supply issues.

In this context, Ushant island (850 inhabitants) has a strong and demanding objective: reach 100% renewable by 2030 with a checkpoint at 50% in 2023 while ensuring quality and without undermining security and reliability of the electric grid.

Albeit with a strong focus on technological innovation, the ICE project moves significantly beyond a parochial framing of sustainable energy transitions as a merely technical matter. We draw instead on a socio-technical understanding and, alongside designing and delivering a smart grid in Ushant, we track the journey of the host community through the envisioned energy transition.


Founding Partner, Edenway Group

Sebastien Dalmas

Head of European Affairs, Bretagne Development Innovation

Hélène Morin

Senior Lecturer in Renewable Energy Policy, University of Exete

Peter Connor

Professor in Sustainable Energy Business, Associate Dean for Innovation - Social Science Faculty, University Of East Anglia

Konstantinos Chalvatzis

Dr Konstantinos Chalvatzis is an energy engineer with postgraduate studies in environmental and energy policy and management. He has been with UEA since 2007, initially as a PhD student at the School of Environmental Sciences and currently as Professor in Sustainable Energy Business (at Norwich Business School) and Academic Chair for ClimateUEA,UEA’s umbrella initiative for Climate research. Konstantinos’ expertise is in the integration of advanced energy systems, including renewables, energy storage and demand side management. He has led research which received academic, industrial and investment funding for consortium projects worth over €23m. Beyond addressing technological challenges, Konstantinos is also interested in looking into broader aspects of energy innovations, such as their business models, user engagement with new technologies, and the respective regulatory framework. Konstantinos’ work on off-grid energy has beenawarded by the European Commission (2017) with the Energy Islands and the Citizens Awards. He has also been elected and served (2015-19) as the inauguralChair for Customer Engagement with smart grid and energy storage applications with DG Energy, EU. He has also served as the inaugural Chair (2015-2018) for Customer Engagement with Smart Grid and Energy Storage systems for the EU Commission BRIDGE Working Group.

Project Manager, SDEF

Gwendal Vonk

Gwendal Vonk is Project Manager at the SDEF (association of municipalities of Finistère department), in charge of the ICE Project and its applications on Ushant Island, such as the deployment of the different technical bricks developed during the ICE project.
Gwendal completed a Ph.D in chemical engineering in University of Rennes I (2018), and an engineering diploma in chemical engineering at the ENSIC School in Nancy (2015).

The Seigneur of Sark, Isle of Sark

Christopher Beaumont

Sponsored by:

ICE Project

Supported by Interreg VA France (Channel) England, the Intelligent Community Energy (ICE) project aims to design and implement innovative smart energy solutions for isolated territories in the Channel area. The project designs and produces an innovative low-carbon energy system (smart grid), able to significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emission of the territories concerned (50% to 100% compared to a fuel-based system) and secure energy access security. It covers the entire energy cycle from production to consumption, exploits local renewable energy sources and integrates new and existing technologies currently at different levels of readiness in order to deliver a comprehensive innovative solution.

The ICE consortium brings together researcher and business support organizations in France and the UK, and engagement with SMEs will support project rollout and promote European cooperation. Among the consortium are Bretagne Développement Innovation,Technopôle Brest-Iroise, Technopôle Quimper- Cornouaille, the Syndicat Départemental d’Énergie et d’Équipement du Finistère, the Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique, the University of East Anglia, the University of Exeter, the University of Plymouth and Marine South East Ltd.

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