Smart Island

The majority of the smaller Italian islands is not connected to the continental power grid.
The industrial activities are very scarce if not completly absent, and the electricity demand is mostly due to the residential sector. The electricity production takes place mainly through a diesel generation plant largely oversized compared to the winter demand, because it has to be ready to cover summer peak loads, The plant size is proportioned to the touristic vocation of the island,  more tourists means bigger plant. Thus, the energy generation is inefficient and it has high operating costs, much higher than the continent, due to the its inconstant use, due to the plant maintenance, and due to the supply from the mainland with tankers.

This project aims to find solutions that increase energetic, economic and environmental efficency of the energy use and the entire production, management  and distribution system in the Lampedusa Island. This process will allow an increase of renewable, non-programmable energy, the reshaping of energy demand and consequently the cost of electricity bills and a greater awareness of the actors involved (designers, installers, managers, users) on the topic of energy sources management.

  • Environment
  • Energy
  • Waste
  • Mobility


The transformation of the island electricity grid and the cycles of waste and water from centralized and unidirectional processes in Smart Grid and Smart cycles represents an opportunity to improve the environmental sustainability of the island.
The environmental benefits expected with the application of the model provided by the Smart Island project are various:
  • Reducing emissions of the local power production;
  • Reduction of impacts related to the waste transport and its management;
  • Reducing emissions for road and sea transport.
A remote sensing technologies and a network of advanced sensors will be installed on the island; the environmental benefits obtained with the introduction of these technologies will be evaluated. Also the measures of environmental conditions will be used to evaluate the proposed model and then simulate the benefits related to the outlined scenarios.



Lampedusa is not connected to the continental energy network, like most of the smaller Italian and Mediterranean Islands. The electrical energy consumption is mainly associated with residential and tourism sector. The electricity production is generated by a diesel generation plant largely oversized compared to the winter power demand, created in order to cover peak loads summer.
This project aims to find solutions to increase energetic, economic and environmental efficency of the energy use and the entire system of production, management and distribution in the Island of Lampedusa.
This process will allow an increase of the percentage of renewable non-programmable energy, a remodeling of the energy demand and the cost of electricity bills, a greater awareness of the actors involved (designers, installers, managers, users) on the topic of energy sources management.
The project aims to develop models of the current situation and scenarios to be confirmed by simulations, technological aspects related to the specific design of a smart grid island (implementation scenarios identified through simulation) and scientific aspects related to the optimization of distributed energy services.



In order to ensure full environmental sustainability and a proper management of the waste produced on the island, a plan for the integrated municipal solid waste and industrial waste (hazardous waste) cycles was developed. The plan will depart from the temporal analysis of the quantities and types of waste produced, and it will include the implementation of a more efficient separate waste collection system, according to the geomorphological characteristics of the island, either for citizens or for companies, businesses and merchants. It will evaluate the aspects related to the logistics optimization of waste transport, departing from the manufacturer, through the intermediate collection plants (like ecological islands) until the final treatment plants, in which the various product fractions are collected and reused (with support of external consultants). In this regard, the organic fraction will be treated by the aerobic composting systems. Plastic, glass, aluminum, iron, and paper and other refuse fractions (homogeneous and not) will be conveyed to a selection and treatment plant aimed at creating recycled secondary materials by an innovative system. Finally, the waste fractions no more recyclable or reusable will be conveyed to an energy plant for the production of electricity and heat.
The proposed system for the integrated waste management tends to maximize the waste recovery and recycling, and at the same time eliminating the environmental impact from the waste transport to the mainland, creating a self disposal "island system" of waste products.



The transformation of Lampedusa towards "SMART" resources management will allow a reduction of environmental pressures and an improvement of the general conditions that will bring clear benefits for the tourism.
As part of Smart Island research project, a researchers’ team from the POLYTECHNIC OF TURIN has designed a new service to strengthen the transport system for tourists visiting Lampedusa. The company Move Plus has created a service called EASYMOOVE, which received the patronage of Lampedusa town. EASYMOOVE carpooling is a platform designed specifically for the island, in which supply and demand will be connected to facilitate the tourists transportation.
Accessibility, sustainability, simplicity and sharing are the core values of the service which will be accessible through smartphone apps, web site, or through a simple paper ticket.


The ultimate goal of the project is the transformation of the island of Lampedusa into an innovative model of Smart Island.
The islander Smart community is a project output and it represents a brand new socio-economic model of Small Island compared to all the other islands. The analyzed scenarios draw a system based on a progressive multilateral system characterized by a plurality of production centers and active users able to interact with an intelligent network, rather than on a centralized power grid and a monopoly production.

The new Smart Grid will be able to: absorb the amount of electricity generated from non-programmable innovative power plants; interact with the system of conventional production; supply a number of energy utilities, optimized by saving measures and energy efficiency; programme the energy unitilities to adapt the load curve of the island with the new production and accumulation availability. The energy provider, currently fossil fuels producer, from the baseline fossil free scenerio gradually becomes a manager of a smart grid, enabling the island energy revolution.

  • Design of an islander Smart Grid: renewable technologies integration, DSM interventions, electric mobility, changes to the distribution system (integration of storage and control platforms);
  • Development of a Business Plan to be proposed to the Energy provider for the the first Mediterranean Smart Grid island implementation;
  • Assessment of environmental and social benefits related to the project implementation;
  • Changes proposals to the operating rules of the electricity grid;
  • Interaction with the institutions to change reporting and reimbursement rules of islands energy providers;
  • Design of Energy flows system monitoring, control and management that accompany the smart grid implementation process from the current Fossil scenario to 100% renewable energy scenario;
  • Island energy system modeling through the use of not stationary models;
  • Realization of an innovative system for island environmental quality control by means of compact size sensors;
  • Chain project definition, covering all materials (waste and scrap) with an environmental impact on the territory, including the collection, sorting, reuse and/or recycling, final treatment with materials and energy recovery to ensure in the Island environmental and economic sustainability.
  • Extension of the model in other minor Italian islands;
  • Development of operational and project proposals for the removal of barriers to the diffusion of RES plants;


The island of Lampedusa is the biggest of the three Pelagian Islands, with an extention of almost 20 km2, a perimeter of 26 km and approximately 5000 people inhabitants. The other islands of the archipelago are Linosa and the small islet of Lampione. Administratively Lampedusa and Linosa are connected in one municipality.
Geographically it belongs to Africa, from which is only 113 km far. The highest point of the island is “Albero Sole”, 133 mt on the sea level.
Lampedusa is the most southern italian territory and municipality, even southern than Tunisi and Algeri.
The northern and western cost is not accessible.
The island is famous for its uncontaminated sea and brighty white sand, with peak tourist season between May and October.
The island of Lampedusa can be reached by plane or boat.



The islands’ energy systems not connected to the mainland with power lines or submarine aqueducts have common features and solutions: oversized diesel generation plants, high emissions in the atmosphere, poor penetration of plants powered by renewable non-programmable energy, high electricity usage in the final use, poor dissemination of technical efficiency and energy-saving practices, dependence on fuel, water and raw materials from the continent, recycling absence, export of waste on the continent, etc.

These characteristics represent an extraordinary opportunity for companies involved in the project to implement a business and development model that addresses primarily the 40 minor Italian islands not connected to the energy network, second to the thousands Mediterranean islands not connected between them.

Smart Island is a project funded by the Ministry of Education, University and Research and carried out by CNR IIA, Exalto - Energy & Innovation and RESNOVA Die which aims to find solutions to increase energy efficiency, economic and environmental sustainability of the whole system of production, management, distribution and use of the island of Lampedusa.

Società promotrici