The European Commission and 14 EU countries have made a formal declaration of support for renewable energy on the region’s 2,700 islands, marking a firm commitment to accelerating the transition to clean energy on islands.
The Commission, in launching the Clean Energy for EU Islands initiative, said it would help islands reduce their dependency on energy imports by making better use of their own renewable energy sources and embracing more modern and innovative energy systems. The political declaration was signed in Valetta, Malta, in May on the margins of the Informal Energy Council, which brings together EU energy ministers.
“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,” said European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete. “The Clean Energy for EU Islands initiative will help them to access the support, expertise and funding they need to go local and generate their own clean, low-cost energy from renewable sources.”
“The declaration represents an important step-up in efforts to boost the energy transition of Europe’s smaller islands and will be welcomed by all islands that have been looking for wider institutional support for their efforts to implement green, sustainable solutions,” commented Gianni Chianetta, who took part in the meeting in Malta on behalf of Greening the Islands.
The initiative – formally supported by Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden – will create a forum for all those with an interest in the clean energy transition on EU islands to share best practice and support the creation of a long-term framework to promote funding and technical assistance.
Part of the scheme is also aimed at making it easier to access new energy technologies and sources of funding. The initiative was originally announced as part of the Commission’s Clean Energy for All Europeans package of proposals in November 2016.