EU launches initiative to bring clean energy to its islands

Malta EU 2017 (Photo: Government of Portugal)

The European Commission, together with 14 EU countries, has signed a political declaration to launch the new ‘Clean Energy for EU Islands’ initiative.

Aimed at accelerating the clean energy transition on Europe’s more than 2700 islands, the initiative is expected to help islands reduce their dependency on energy imports by making better use of their own renewable energy sources, such as marine energy, and embracing more modern and innovative energy systems.

This will help reduce energy costs and at the same time improve air quality and lower greenhouse gas emissions, the European Commission said.

Part of the scheme will also aim to simplify access to new energy technologies and sources of funding.

Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said: “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. 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.”

Signed in Valetta in the margins of the Informal Energy Council, which brings together EU energy ministers, the initiative 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.

The initiative was originally announced as part of the Commission’s ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package of proposals in November 2016.

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