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, signed by Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson alongside 14 Member States.
European Union islands have the potential to be pioneers of the clean energy transition and this Island initiative puts citizens at the heart of it bringing tangible benefits such as local jobs creation, economic activity and lower energy bills. It contributes 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.
Speaking about the new solar power plant in the islands of Cres and Lošinj, the Minister of Tourism Oleg Butkovic emphasised how the synergy of investments in energy and transport is of crucial importance also for the stability of the Croatian economy in the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Overall, islands are in a favourable position to make a successful transition to clean energy. They have an abundant potential for renewable energy, which may be combined with energy efficiency measures and flexible solutions 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.