Last month the first REACT Workshop was held in La Réunion, one of the follower islands. It was organized by our colleagues from the ENERGY-Lab, Dominique Grondin and Michel Benne, which belongs to the Université de La Réunion. This workshop was held in the Regional Authority headquarters in Saint-Denis. 36 people attended physically and 25 online.
During the first day of the workshop, we had the opportunity to listen about the energy transition policy in La Réunion by Jean-Pierre Chabriat. We were also able to better understand the island’s electricity system thanks to the explanations of Emmanuel Cerqueira from EDF SEI.
We had the opportunity to listen to the different energy transition policies from the follower islands. Efstratios Mouflouzellis spoke about the energy transition of the North Aegean Region. Stefan Ivanell enlightened us on the development of wind energy in Gotland. Michael Short talked about the Isle of Wight and Ferran Rosa Gaspar presented the case for the Balearic Islands.
We finished the day being informed about the results and efforts from the sister projects NESOI, GIFT, INSULAE and MAESHA.
On the second day of the workshop, members of the REACT consortium who attend physically visited the EDF control room where M. Cerqueira was so kind to show us not only the grid control operation room but also how the energy system currently works in the island and the possibilities and opportunities for the future in terms of renewable energies. Later on, in the afternoon, we were shown around two installations in the public building belonging to the regional authority: the charging electrical vehicles parking station and the building roof with all the solar panel installations.
At the end of the afternoon, a presentation of the REACT project was given by Dominique Grondin to the students (Bachelor, Master, Ph.D.) and the research staff. Afterward, Heracles Polatidis gave a lecture on energy planning. Michael Short gave a lecture on intelligent energy through digitalisation. Fausto Sainz de Salces presented the development of energy software within the REACT project.
On the last day, the morning was dedicated to the REACT project results. We started with presentations of the main activities and results carried out in the pilot islands of Aran Islands, San Pietro and La Graciosa by each of the responsible partners, Dayanne Peretti (University of Galway), Raphaelle Papa (R2M) and Jose María Marcos (Fenie) respectively.
Then, the REACT platform’s development was presented by Tekniker and Pupin teams. We had the opportunity to see how it works for the final user.
Michael Short from Teesside University spoke about the user context and the socioeconomic factors involved in the project solutions.
In the afternoon, we heard about the practices of the territory in increasing the share of renewable energy. A regional plan is being developed to significantly increase the share of solar photovoltaic energy in the energy mix. Difficulties with the administrative process were shared by solar companies. To increase the share of renewables, batteries are now being installed in the transmission grid. The main problem with intermittent renewables is the lack of inertia as the electricity grid is not interconnected. Some tools are developed by the DSO R&D team.
The way REACT solutions can help the territory to reach energy autonomy was discussed. It seems that the development of energy communities is really new on the island. The regional authority wants to promote the self-consumption of photovoltaic energy in order to increase the share of renewable energy and to educate consumers to reduce their electricity consumption. A project could be carried out in the problematic area of the electricity network.