Mayotte, a French overseas island region located in the northern Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean, is at the forefront of an innovative initiative paving the way towards a sustainable energy future: the MAESHA project. This endeavour marks a paradigm shift, revolutionising the island’s energy landscape through innovation, community engagement, and pioneering technologies.
The project delves into cutting-edge technologies encompassing renewable energy sources (RES), integrating EV charging points, Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) systems, and advanced energy storage and management systems. Collectively, these initiatives drive the development of smart power grids for islands and paint a compelling picture of a cleaner, brighter future for Mayotte and the six follower islands that aim to replicate such advancements: Gozo, Gran Canaria, Saint Barth, Favignana, La Reunion, and Madeira.
The core of the Horizon 2020 MAESHA project is a unique approach which puts the community in the driver’s seat. Locals are actively involved in every phase of the project through surveys, interviews, and collaborative design sessions. This people-centric strategy, incorporating “prosumers” and the deployment of Local Energy Communities (LECs), ensures that solutions are not just innovative but also precisely tailored to meet islands’ unique needs.
Looking ahead, MAESHA aims to establish ten local energy communities in Mayotte, creating a ripple effect of sustainable practices. Some of these communities are already operational and contributing significantly to the island’s clean energy transition. The project conducts comprehensive analyses, including innovative green hydrogen possibilities, with the aim of inspiring similar initiatives in other islands.
Communication plays a pivotal role in disseminating the project’s impact globally. With a robust online presence, engaging social media, and active participation in international events, MAESHA’s mission resonates far beyond Mayotte’s shores, with a target of reaching 200 islands worldwide.
Behind this innovative initiative is effective project management, which navigates through technological complexities and social transitions. Greening the Islands is contributing to showcasing the MAESHA experience on global platforms, as well as during past and upcoming events like Circle The Med, scheduled for late January in Athens, Greece.
The MAESHA project merges innovation and collaboration, envisioning a future where technological advancements harmonize with society’s needs for a cleaner, greener world. Next appointment is the MAESHA Review Meeting in Vienna in January 2024, stay tuned to learn more about the project’s journey, discover how to support similar initiatives, and be a part of this transformative islands’ movement.