Estonia joined 13 more European Union member states and the European Commission in signing a Memorandum of Understanding on the EU’s clean energy for islands initiative.
Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas, who signed the memorandum on Estonia’s behalf, said that both dependence on fossil fuels and the quality of local electrical connections remain a problem for Estonia’s islands, as they would for other offshore islands within the EU.
“The income of many island dwellers depends on tourism and a green environment is becoming increasingly important for tourists,” Minister Aas said.
“This is why it is reasonable to jointly apply best practices for improving the quality of life on islands,” he added, noting Ruhnu and a submarine cable running between Saaremaa and Muhu, as recent positive developments.
“Over 50 per cent of electricity is currently produced using wind turbines and solar panels on Ruhnu and the new sea cable between Muhu and Saaremaa improved the security of supply both in Saaremaa and Hiiumaa,” Mr Aas continued.
The memorandum builds on the 2017 Clean Energy for EU Islands initiative and was signed by the European Commission, Estonia, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
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.