There are more than 2200 inhabited islands in the EU. Despite having access to renewable sources of energy, such as wind and wave energy, many of them depend on expensive fossil fuel imports for their energy supply.
As part of the 'Clean energy for all Europeans' package, the Clean energy for EU islands initiative provides a long term framework to help islands generate their own sustainable, low-cost energy. This will result in:
- Reduced energy costs and greatly increased production of renewable energy and the construction of energy storage facilities and demand response systems, using the latest technologies
- better energy security for islands, which will be less reliant on imports
- improved air quality, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and less impact on islands' natural environments
- the creation of new jobs and business opportunities, boosting islands' economic self-sufficiency.
The initiative was launched in May 2017 in Malta, where the European Commission and 14 EU countries (Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden) signed a Political Declaration.
To facilitate the clean energy transition, the Commission launched in 2018 the ‘Clean energy for EU islands secretariat’, which offers support and assistance on project preparation to Europe’s islands communities.