Except from our main ambitions and goals, that mentioned above, we set a program of small innovations to improve people's everyday life and make easier the task of informing and educating. We propose: (The island of Texel towards a sustainable energy future, 2014)
- Reduction of energy consumption. Information about the energy consumption can be provided weekly to every house so as people will realise which habits are harmfull for the environment
- Generation of renewable energy for island’s demands. Wind, sun and biogas are the main energy generators for Texel.
- Use of this energy when it is available. The availability of energy will be expressed in a price per hour. This leads to different energy decisions for washing the clothes, the dishes, etc.
- Use of the existing energy infrastructure in a smart way. Add intelligence to the existing energy grid. According to the forecast, the system will be able to know which source of energy should be used to cover the demands of the people.
All these actions will highlight the special educational character of the island, promote the activities offered and spread the word of sustainability by offering the visitors a chance to integrate to this lifestyle during their vacation. Tourism is the main source of income of the island, even though there is a maximum of 47.000 overnight places. This limit contributes to the control of tourism and the preservation of Texel as a green island. In addition to this, keeping this limitation makes it easier to predict the energy demands and thus the energy sources needed.
At the same time, however, there are two main focus-categories of people that need different treatment from the proposed program; the inhabitants and the tourists. Thus, we can realize that we have to overcome problems that come from behaviors and habits of 14.000 inhabitants and 47.000 visitors. Fortunately, each year a certain number of visitors consists of people that have already visited the island at least once, so they would already have experienced the local culture. But in the same time there are a lot of tourists coming to Texel for the first time. Therefore, their behavior is much more difficult to predict and for them it may be harder to adapt in Texel’s sustainable system. As a result, the energy demands of the island may vary depending on not only the number of people but also the proportion of old and new visitors. This is something has to be taken into account for the design of the technical systems.
Our focus, therefore, is first of all to show to all the inhabitants the way towards a more sustainable lifestyle with all the necessary changes (renovate their houses, adapt their choices according to the energy availability, etc.). The fact that they are used to live in a certain way, where for example the building insulation is not necessary for their comfort, creates obstacles for the goal achievement of ‘60% self-supported Texel’. In the meanwhile, the tourists should be given the proper information and education, when coming to Texel, so that they will be able to understand and adapt to the sustainable, self-sufficient concept faster and easier. We believe that the scale of our sub-system has to include the inhabitants and the tourists by distinguishing their different needs and backgrounds.