Energy supply sustainability for island nations: A study on 8 global islands

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Energy supply sustainability is a multifaceted challenge for all countries and especially for small island nations that might have limited adaptive capacity. Previous studies showed that islands experience energy scarcity and isolation from energy markets due to their remote location. Our focus is on a range of islands spread out globally: Malta, Cyprus, Curacao, Mauritius, Iceland, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Bahrain. They are selected for their varying energy development paradigms that facilitate cluster elicitation. For the first time, we combine the estimation of fuel mix diversity and energy import dependence with established metrics Shannon-Wiener index (SWI), Herfindahl-Hirschman index (HHI) and Energy Import Dependence to assess energy supply security. SWI and Energy Import Dependence are then presented against carbon intensity to highlight two angles of sustainable energy supply. We argue that islands are clustered to those that have fossil fuel reserves and are locked in low diversity, low dependence and high carbon intensity, those that rely almost exclusively on imported fossil fuel reserves and have low diversity and high dependence and high carbon intensity and finally those that have entered a decarbonization trajectory that allows them to reduce their fossil fuel import dependence, increase their diversity and reduce their carbon intensity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3028–3034
Number of pages7
JournalEnergy Procedia
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Carbon Intensity
  • Dependence
  • Diversity
  • Islands
  • Energy Supply Security

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