Updated: Feb 9, 2021
In many parts of the world reclaiming land from the sea has now become a common practice. It is feasible that many of the new cities of the future may be developed on reclaimed lands. The advancements and developments in the construction industry have an impact on economic scenarios in the world. Artificial islands, also known as offshore or floating islands, are perfect examples to represent infrastructural developments at present time. Man-made islands, created by reclaiming land from the sea, have become more prevalent to serve as a part of a transport system or as an isolated industrial, residential or defense site in the coastal countries in recent years as demand for additional land. An artificial island is a landmark surrounded by water which is constructed artificially through humans with uses of advance technologies and machinery. An artificial island is an application of various engineering concepts that have brought a drastic change in construction technology. The construction of an artificial island is done by land reclamation, expansion of existing islets, combining a small group of islets, and filling different materials over sea or an ocean bed.
Figure 1 Agricultural area, farming area, fishery, floating housing, public spaces on the island (from left to right)
Sustainable energy supply is an essential part of economic and social development in every society. In this context, special attention is put on islands. Islands as geographically isolated regions have to confront a number of challenges to secure a reliable and clean energy system. Island development problems are mostly related to imported fossil fuel energy dependence, freshwater availability, and waste management, associated with transportation and other problems.
Ensuring the supply of affordable energy, improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions are some of the priorities of the governments of several countries. European Union (EU) interest on islands energy issue is currently at its peak. In the last years, many key steps have been made towards the development of sustainable insular energy systems. Starting from the Smart Island Initiative and proceeding with the Valletta Declaration, islands have been identified as a perfect location to prove the technical and economic feasibility of high variable Renewable Energy Sources (vRES) energy systems. European Union has identified the priorities towards sustainable and low-carbon energy systems recognizing a key role to islands that have been described as ideal sites to develop and test innovative strategies and solutions that will then boost the transition on the mainland.
Figure 2 Recycling centre, hydroelectricity power station, solar PV on the roof, solar assisted mobile housing, solar PV and wind farm, airborne wind turbine
The efficient use of renewable energy sources (RES) is one of the major issues in the modern energy sector. An optimization of artificial LEGO island has been developed by two brothers, Ahmet Cansabuncu (age 10) and Yusuf Cansabuncu (age 5), aiming to create awareness for eco-friendly communities and sustainability. They have an objective for safe food, security, transportation, clean water, education, and energy needs from RES taking into consideration a multiplicity of criteria such as environmental impacts, energy demand, sustainability, and resource availability. This artificial LEGO island shows wind energy, solar energy, hydropower, and biomass energy sources to meet the current energy use on the island. These little researchers who designed the artificial floating island of their dreams with Lego have created agricultural fields, vertical gardens, floating houses, recycling centre, airport, green spaces, community centre, public areas, arts and sports centre, hydroelectric power station, wind turbines, solar PVs, two airborne wind turbines for remote power, electric vehicles and UCL Islands Laboratory Research Centre on the island. They want to learn more about renewable and sustainable islands to extend this artificial Lego island and be part of Island Laboratory research team in the future.
Figure 3 Yusuf Cansabuncu (top-left) and Ahmet Cansabuncu (right-bottom) working on Artificial Island Project with LEGOs