The Clean Energy for EU Islands Secretariat on behalf of the European Commission launched on 14 May in Stockholm a support mechanism for islands wishing to develop concrete clean energy transition projects.

“Island communities historically had to be remarkably creative and resilient due to their need to thrive in remote locations with limited access to certain resources,” Director General of DG Energy of the EC Dominique Ristori said. “When these qualities are applied to the clean energy transition, they unleash a tremendous amount of solutions. The lessons learned on islands can inspire communities also on the mainland, and in turn help the EU achieve its energy and climate objectives faster and more effectively,” he added.

Until the end of June, EU islands will be able apply for assistance from the Secretariat to advance the development of individual renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in their local community, Clean Energy for EU Islands said in a press release, adding that this support will be provided and completed by June 2020. The project call was launched at the 3rd Clean Energy for EU Islands Forum, where island stakeholders and EU representatives are meeting to discuss transition models and discover key technologies for islands.

For islands that are only starting to explore a particular project idea, the Secretariat can carry out pre-feasibility studies for renewable energy projects and energy efficiency projects. For projects with a more advanced status, the Secretariat can support islands with the technical and financial due diligence of the project.

In the context of the 3rd Clean Energy for EU Islands Forum in Stockholm and Mariehamn, the initiative further launched a pledge to support the clean energy transition on islands. By signing this pledge and publicly stating their commitment to a clean energy transition driven by the local community, islands officially become part of the Clean Energy for EU Islands Initiative.

“Today more than ever citizens have an important role to play in the worldwide clean energy transition, and we know that the solutions to climate change must be local. This is why we invite EU islands promoting a clean energy transition driven by local stakeholders to sign the initiative’s pledge and join the community of islands working together towards a bottom-up and fair transition, that leaves no one behind,” Ristori said.

Twenty-six islands and archipelagos have already joined the initiative. In the coming months, the Secretariat will launch an online community to help islands connect and exchange with each other and external experts to advance their clean energy transition.