The EU Islands Clean Energy Secretariat has announced that 30 islands and island groups from 10 European countries have been selected to lead the way towards full energy independence by 2030.
European island paradises will soon become leaders in the transition towards a more sustainable future, and Movement of the Island, the regional partner of the Secretariat, has been playing a key role in this trip for the fifth year in a row.
As a reminder, the journey of the European islands began with a call for applications of interest published in June 2023 by the European Commissioner for Energy Kadri simson.
After careful consideration, the Secretariat chose at the end of November 30 islands and island groups leading the way in energy independence.
The mission was clear: to identify and provide technical support to 30 islands and island groups over the next three years, leading them towards full energy independence through one hundred percent renewable sources by 2030.
The success of these 'pioneer islands' will now become guidelines for other, 'follower islands' on their path to comprehensive decarbonisation.
"I look forward to seeing the completion of the next step in this initiative. Selected islands now have the opportunity to serve as pioneering models for planning and implementing clean energy systems, and how to manage decentralized decarbonized electricity systems. This will provide valuable insights for other islands, many of which remain highly dependent on expensive, imported fossil fuels. They can also serve as examples for transition in cities and regions around the world", said Simson.
The Secretariat will assist the islands in designing, preparing and implementing decarbonisation plans for their energy systems. It will extend technical and organizational support, ensuring that each island receives comprehensive guidance throughout its journey.
The call for applications of interest marked the beginning of this inspiring project for our islands as well. In addition to numerous applications, the Cres-Lošinj archipelago and the islands of Korčula and Pašman managed to enter the list of 30 islands. With the full support of the Island Movement, they will step towards a sustainable future.
What does the technical support of the Secretariat include?
Plans will be developed for the financing of energy efficiency measures, research, analysis and implementation of renewable energy production projects. This coincides with the objectives of the Initiative RePowerEU.
Studies will include analysis of business models, community involvement in solar energy, hydropower and various energy storage options. Furthermore, they include the development of wind energy, electrification of transport, network flexibility and self-consumption.
The technical support will also explore sustainable maritime transport, waste management and valorisation and the optimization of district heating.
The overarching goal is to encourage a holistic transition towards sustainable energy practices, encompassing both technological advancements and community participation across diverse energy fields and domains.
See the list of all selected EU islands at connectors.
Photo: Ivan Brčić