Self-sufficient and carbon-neutral Kökar in Åland

The island of Kökar seeks to become an energy self-sufficient and carbon-neutral place. In order to reach the goal, the residents of Kökar have decided to participate in the project and have received funding from the Central Baltic Interreg program to make a long-term development plan for their island.

The project started in 2018 and should be established by 2020. The main challenge for the island of Kökar currently is to find the most effective way to move forward their clean energy transition in a well-organized and cleverly communicated way.

Kökar is a part of Åland islands and is located 31 km from Åland. The total electricity consumption per year on Kökar was 2.9 GWh in 2017. The island uses 400 kW - 800 kW per day depending on temperature and wind.

The local energy production includes a 500 kW “Enercon E40” wind turbine, which has produced 24 million kWh since its inception in 1997, several private solar panels, geothermal installations, and two smaller wind turbines on the island.

A certain number of the 100 properties are heated with oil and wood burners. The biggest energy consumers on the island are the school, the elderly home, the bakery, the hotel, the harbors in Karlby, Sandvik, Väster Sundet, and the Coast Guard Station. Ferry transportation to and from Kökar amounts to 1/3 of the island’s total energy consumption.

The whole energy system there is owned and managed by a regional company. The electricity produced on Kökar is transmitted to the region of Åland.

Key words: carbon-neutral, energy self-sufficiency, wind energy, solar panels, geothermal, Kökar, Åland