Porto Santo: Towards a Smart Fossil Free Island

The Island of Porto Santo, Portugal, is aiming towards a transition away from fossil fuels into 100% renewables.

The Island of Porto Santo, is a portuguese Island located in the North Atlantic Ocean, 43km north east from Madeira Island. The insular territory gathers all the conditions to become a laboratory for the development of an ambitious project aiming at the transition away from fossil fuels into 100% renewables.

The “Porto Santo Sustentável – Smart Fossil Free Island” project develops actions regarding electricity generation, mobility, transport, buildings and industry. One of the aim of the project is, regarding Renewable Energy Sources for example, to increase the current contribution of renewables 15% to 30%, with more solar PV power and wind power, in electricity production.

AREAM (Agência Regional da Energia e Ambiente da Região Autónoma da Madeira), developed the initial project idea and an action plan to deliver the project, in collaboration with the regional and local authorities and the Electricity Company of Madeira (EEM). The project is now implemented by EEM, with the support of AREAM, the regional governement and the municipality. It involves several technologies such as :

  • ESS (Energy Storage System)
  • Electric vehicles (Vehicle to Grid-V2G) : a pilot project is run with Renault of 20 electric vehicles used by companies, public services, taxis and families aiming to monitor the energy consumption and test smart charging and vehicle-to-grid solutions
  • LED lighting with tele management for an efficient street lighting
  • Building energy efficiency through the installation of smart meters to all electricity users in the Island. A 4MW / 3 MWh Battery has also been installed to allow a higher penetration of RES
  • Smart grids.

The project is part of the European strategy 20-20-20, namely: reducing GHG emissions, increasing renewable energy and improving energy efficiency. Within this scope the project aims to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy. Regarding social aspects, the project will create more and better opportunities for local businesses, increase local employment and increase revenue, enhancing the competitiveness of the local economy. The Island also aims at a wider scale regarding the impact of the project. Indeed, the organisations involved in the project in Porto Santo want to prove that its example can be applied to communities many times larger, with firmer answers to questions about how to finance and implement such initiatives.


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Time frame :
2016 - 2019