Boost for renewable energy on Reunion Island

Published on August 2, 2016 – Author : Coline Mionnet

Boost for renewable energy on Reunion Island

On Reunion Island, pioneer in energy transition, renewables now represent more than one-third of electricity production. The objective is to increase the share of renewables in the island energy mix up to 50% by 2020, and to 100% by 2030.

Reunion Island, towards le Piton de la Fournaise

According to EDF Group, which accompanies Reunion Island in its energy transition, renewable energy covered 36% of the territory electricity needs in 2015. The inhabitants of the island have relied on three local natural ressources : hydropower (17.5% of 2015 production), bagasse (9%) and photovoltaics (8.5%).
Bagasse is the residue from sugar cane grinding that is used as fuel for thermal power plants. This biomass is highlighted on Reunion Island in two dual-combustible and dual-energy (steam and electricity) power plants from 1992 and 1995.

Regarding innovation, EDF experiments different energy storage technologies on Reunion Island in order to develop 100% renewable energy self-sufficiency solutions, particularly for isolated areas. For example, a photovoltaic installation of latest generation was inaugurated on last February 2 in the school canteen of La Nouvelle, in Mafate. Equipped with a hydrogen storage system, the power plant benefits to all La Nouvelle inhabitants, a world first. A complete renewal of photovoltaic plants is aimed overtime.

Reunion Island

Photo: Reunion Island Licence Creative Commons via

Furthermore, the Regional Council of Reunion Island subsidizes since 2012 individuals and farmers who make a request for the installation of photovoltaic panels. From 2014, a system of photovoltaic cheques was implemented to encourage residents to install solar panels : 6000€ for a system with storage and 3000€ without storage system. The Reunion Region has validated 188 records in 2015 and 68 records would remain eligible, thus, 9000 square meters of solar roofs have been installed allowing to produce 1.2 MW of renewable electricity.
In addition, Reunion Island is part of the 33 winners selected on last June 11 by the French Ministry of Environment following the invitation to tender launched in May 2015 and dedicated to photovoltaic facilities coupled with energy storage devices in non-interconnected areas. Thus, several projects for a total capacity of 9,1 MW will soon emerge on Reunion Island.


Actualités EDF ENR)

Le chèque énergie, site

Télécharger PDF plaquette d’information chèque énergie, site

“Le dispositif est géré en toute transparence” article sur le site

“Mafate au coeur d’une expérimentation mondiale” lire sur le site

“33 projets avec stockage retenus pour les territoires insulaires” lire sur le site