The European Commission (EC) will support the transition of 26 islands in the EU to clean energy, many of which currently depend on expensive fossil fuel imports for their energy supply, the EC announced on Monday.
In the first phase, six islands - the Aran Islands (Ireland) Cres-Losinj (Croatia), Sifnos (Greece), Culatra (Portugal), Salina (Italy) and La Palma (Spain) will develop and publish their clean energy transition agendas by summer 2019, the EC said, adding that the remaining 20 islands will do so by the summer of 2020.
"The 26 islands selected display a remarkable potential and enthusiasm for developing strong and lasting multi-stakeholder collaborations around the clean energy transition," Dominique Ristori, director-general for energy at the EC, was quoted as saying.
"By embarking on this path, not only will they become more energy self-reliant and prosperous, but also provide inspiring examples for other islands and Europe as a whole. This in turn will help the EU achieve its ambitious climate and energy targets," he continued.
There are more than 2,200 inhabited islands in the EU, according to the Commission's statement, from which the 26 islands were selected based on their potential to establish a high-quality transition process with the support of the Secretariat.
The Commission underlined that despite having an abundance of renewable sources of energy, such as wind, solar and wave energy, many of these islands currently depend on expensive fossil fuel imports for their energy supply.
In order to serve as inspiring examples for as many European islands as possible over the coming years, special attention was paid to include islands covering a broad variety of geographic and contextual conditions, the EC explained.
The Clean Energy for EU Islands initiative was launched in May 2017 in Malta, when the EC and 14 EU countries signed a political declaration.
By Ebru Sengul