Last 14th October, NESOI participated in the EU Regions Week with the online conference "Islands as leaders towards net zero: from clean energy vision to energy action". Ms Marina Montero, Technical Lead from the Clean Energy for EU Islands Secretariat opened the session and explained that the marketplace has a very important role to fulfill in the energy transition: energy island projects are looking for finance on one side, whereas investor are looking for projects in another side. Community engagement is vital to close that gap.
Mr Andrea Martinez, Deputy Managing Director from Sinloc, presented the NESOI network and the posibilities that the project entails for energy transition projects. He promoted the looming opening of the Second Call (29 October 2021) and introduced the webinars that will take place in the coming weeks:
22 October 2021: Info Session Webinar (10:00 - 10:30 CEST) > REGISTER HERE
15 November 2021: Detailed capacity building webinar (10:00 - 12:00 CET) > REGISTER HERE
The conference continued with a dialogue session beween Ms Nuria Albert Torres, from La Palma Renovable, and Mr Pau de Vilchez Moragues, Assistant Research Lecturer at UIB, Deputy Director of the Interdisciplinary Lab on Climate Change (LINCC) and Chair of the Climate Change Committee of the Balearic Islands.
Nuria Albert talked about her experience at La Palma Renovable. She explained that it is a citizen-led organisation working towards the energy transition that did not have a plan at the beginning, so they started listening to the inhabitants to discover what needs they had and organised their work from there. She admits that the involvement of society has been key for its success.
Pau de Vilchez asked whether the organisation gives a strong focus on techology. He explained that, most times, when people listen the words "renewable energy"assume that there is a need to develop some strong technology. However, it requires a more basic starting point: to rethink our behaviour, how we consume, how we move, how we produce...
Nuria agreed. That is why, in the last times, she has focused on speaking to all the stakeholders in the island of La Palma, spreading the message that technology is not enough to achieve a more sustainable way of living. She mentioned as an example the recent events with the volcano on the island and the consequences of climate change.
She told us, that some inhabitants are already thinking about planting more banana trees once the lava stops flowing and cools down, instead of using the opportunity to rethink the whole value chain based on bananas and tourism. Nobody is to blame about these thoughts. "The solution is not to tell these people not to plant any more banana trees, but to create structures that would make them safe if they decide to change". Said otherwise, the change should be transversal, touching all levels in the society.