A Step to Community SOLAR Islands (SOLAR ISLANDS) is a project supported by NESOI European Islands Facility, managed by our partners from Wolf Theiss, and promoted by Energetska zadruga NOVI OTOK Korčula and Otočna razvojna agencija za očuvanje otočja Cres-Lošinj.


The project focuses on the creation of energy cooperatives in local communities on the islands of Cres, Lošinj and Korčula. Its primary goal is to set up, manage and finance communal photovoltaic power plants. SOLAR ISLANDS aims to use existing technology to minimize development costs while remaining open to implementing new solutions and technologies in the future.

SOLAR ISLANDS is a joint action of the local communities of the three islands to start the installation of the communal solar power plant on each of the archipelagos through a crowd-investment model. The local community of Korčula will teach the local community of the Cres-Lošinj archipelago how to establish and run a cooperative.

The main objectives of the project include raising awareness of local communities about the use of renewable energy sources, encouraging cooperation between different stakeholders to establish energy cooperatives and providing access to renewable energy to those who would otherwise not be able to set up their own power plants.

Crowdfunding that is planned to be done as a key part of the project will allow generate financial returns for the community. Community assets (solar panels) are used to generate profits locally, within the community. Members will have local control over financial resources and profit sharing. Surpluses can be reinvested in community benefit funds and other activities. Co-investments can also help create local maintenance services jobs and generate stable return for investors.

Finally, the launch of this cooperative-driven solar power plant initiative primarily serves as a testing ground for this particular model. If it proves to be successful, it will be possible to apply it in other places, as well as to use other more innovative technologies. The potential for replication is unlimited, with similar models already in development on land. It can be applied anywhere, and a key project objective is to demonstrate to local communities the financial profitability of such projects, fostering regional energy independence. Furthermore, noteworthy is that cooperation between project initiators, especially energy cooperatives, can be extremely useful regardless of their geographic location. This collaboration facilitates the exchange of expertise and experiences, exemplified by the concrete founding of this initiative through the establishment of the Association of Energy Cooperatives in Croatia.

SOLAR ISLANDS: Blockchain technologies in renewable energy communities

Generating clean electricity from renewable sources in an environmentally responsible manner can be achieved through an innovative co-financing approach. What sets this concept apart is that a significant portion of the investment should be made by cooperative members —namely, locals and other stakeholders interested in funding renewable energy sources on the islands.

The Community Solar Islands project represents a solar power installation designed to enable individuals to go solar, even if they lack knowledge or face limitations for various reasons. Through a crowd-investment model, the Community Solar Islands project provides a way for virtually anyone go solar.

An exemplary use case for enhancing efficiency and security through the integration of blockchain technology is crowdfunding. In this context, blockchain seamlessly integrates into the crowd-investment model, enhancing efficiency and reducing management costs. This incorporation facilitates the democratization of investment platforms for small investors and ensures security through a distributed ledger and accounting system, preventing the potential disruption of the entire project by a single bad actor.

In essence, blockchain not only reduces costs but also transforms investment in small-scale green energy projects into a viable and profitable venture for local communities.

How does NESOI Support this project?

The European Islands Facility (NESOI) aims to unlock the potential of EU islands to become the locomotives of the European Energy Transition. To do so, NESOI aims to mobilize more than €100 Million of investment in sustainable energy projects to give EU islands the opportunity to implement energy technologies and innovative approaches, in a cost-competitive way.

More specifically, NESOI has provided the following support:

  • Assessment of the existing documentation and studies
  • Cost Benefit analysis and socio economic and environmental impact evaluation
  • Definition of the technical, economic and financial project inputs
  • Risk analysis and identification of target scenario
  • Analysis of possible governance and legal structures
  • Legal advices to set up a local community with focus on crow-investing
  • Compliance with the applicable national law on taxes, financial and social security
  • Identification of financing sources (crowdinvesting, banks, alternative funding opportunities)
  • Action plan and identification of project monitoring procedures






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