By Andrea Willige
Living on an island may conjure up romantic images, but it isn’t without its challenges - electricity being one of them.
Countries with large island territories like Japan and Indonesia as well as a number of African countries often struggle to get power to their offshore regions.
Connecting disparate islands with subsea cables is costly and complex. Therefore island power lines are often separate from mainland grids. Building local power plants is usually unviable for the sizes of population served. Offshore power sources like wind and tidal energy are becoming increasingly popular, but they are only practicable when islands can be connected up easily. More often than not, diesel power generators are the last resort, but this is pricey and not environmentally friendly.