The EU Islands Secretariat launched on November 5 a call for expression of interest to EU’s islands wishing to receive support to plan, prepare or advance their clean energy transition.
The Secretariat will support up to 26 island communities across Europe in developing clear plans for their energy transition.
Noting that the Clean Energy for EU Islands Initiative has come of age, European Commission’s Director-General for Energy Dominique Ristori said that by launching the first call for expression of interest from island communities wishing to receive support, the EU has given a clear signal that the clean energy transition is irreversible.
“Due to their location, many of our islands have expensive oil-based energy structures which mean that they are still dependent on costly fossil fuel imports,” he said. This can change by deploying renewable sources, energy efficiency solutions and innovative technologies. From now on, EU islands will be eligible to receive dedicated support in the coming 18 months, helping them become more energy self-reliant and pushing them towards the adoption of the best available clean technologies,” Ristori added.
With Europe’s decision makers set to finalise negotiations on the future of the European energy market by the end of the year, this call for expression of interest is a very concrete step towards advancing the energy transition at a local level.
Over the next two years, the EU Islands Secretariat will work with different stakeholder groups in the local island communities. The process will be owned by the local communities, with the Secretariat providing assistance in writing Clean Energy Transition Agendas.
A second call will be launched in early 2019 to island communities wishing to receive technical assistance on individual projects. The Secretariat will also operate a helpdesk to lend support as required, as well as capacity building and networking opportunities. The Secretariat does not provide direct financial support, the EU Islands Secretariat said.
The call for expression of interest was launched at the 2nd Clean Energy for EU Islands Forum in Lanzarote, Spain.
The clean energy transition on Europe’s islands has been gaining political momentum at EU-level in the past few years. The signing of the “Political Declaration on Clean Energy For EU Islands” in May 2017 formalised the political commitment of the Member States and was complemented by the launch of the Clean Energy for EU Islands Initiative by the European Commission shortly after.