Yesterday the Croatian Presidency informed EU Energy Ministers of the completion of the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding on the Clean Energy for EU Islands initiative. Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson signed for the Commission alongside 14 Member States.
EU islands have the potential to be pioneers of the clean energy transition and this Island initiative puts citizens at the heart of the energy transition bringing tangible benefits such as local jobs creation, economic activity and lower energy bills. It contribute to the reduction of energy dependence thanks to the sustainable exploitation of local resources. It will also support the EU’s post-COVID economic recovery efforts.
The Memorandum establishes a long-term framework for cooperation to advance the energy transition for European islands, with full respect for the different specificities of each island. It calls for the continuation of the Islands Secretariat and supports cooperation to identify common solutions and best practices helping islands facing common challenges that cannot be addressed simply at island-level.
Islands are in a favourable position to make a successful transition to clean energy. They have abundant potential for renewable energy, which may be combined with energy efficiency measures and flexibility solutions (e.g. demand-response and storage) to create decarbonised local energy systems. Achieving the clean energy transition of islands will contribute to realising the objectives of the European Green Deal, while saving costs, benefitting local populations and island economies.
The Commission in May 2017 launched the Clean Energy for EU Islands Initiative as part of the Clean Energy package with the objective of supporting the EU islands in their decarbonisation. A Clean Energy for EU Islands Secretariat was also established to support EU islands, as well as a Clean Energy for EU Islands Forum to engage stakeholders and public authorities and share best practices.